South Africans are the biggest users of dagga

Dagga remains the most used drug in South Africa even though amphetamine-type stimulants like tik pose the greatest threat, the Central Drug Authority said yesterday.

Dagga remains the most used drug in South Africa even though amphetamine-type stimulants like tik pose the greatest threat, the Central Drug Authority said yesterday.

"Cannabis (dagga) abuse in South Africa is twice the global norm," CDA deputy chairperson David Bayever said.

While the international norm was 4 percent, in South Africa just over 8 percent of the population used dagga, he said.

Bayever said the dagga produced in South Africa was more potent than that of most other countries.

This is because of the high levels of tetrahydrocannabol (THC) which makes the drug more addictive.

However, tik and its ATS counterparts remain the biggest threat.

This is because they can be easily produced and the ingredients used - ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (chemical precursor) - are locally sourced.

The Southern African representative of the UN office on Drugs and Crime Jonathan Lucas said the tik problem had the potential to become more of a threat.

"You can get more profit out of tik," Lucas said.

He said regional cooperation was needed to combat the flow of drugs.

"The most important thing is to support the chemical monitoring unit together with the pharmaceutical companies.

"If Southern Africa does not take control of chemical precursor as an important issue there is going to be a big problem," he said. - Sapa

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