The Trial of The Plant currently taking place in the North Gauteng High Court has just been postponed until further notice. This bid for Cannabis legalisation by The Dagga Couple looks set to return for a second season of thrills, spills and big legal bills.
If I were to sum up the trial in one sentence it would that it was a drama sandwich with a thick slice of boring in the middle. With the State and Doctors For Life (DFL) attorneys kicking things off by fiercely objecting to the live broadcasting of the courtroom proceedings, it was plain to see that this wasn’t going to be a short affair. After days of closed door debate with the Judge, permission was eventually given to News24 and the SABC to stream the trial, and things then got underway. Well sort of. The DFL legal team used up the majority for courts time in what felt like an endless barrage of cross examination aimed at Professor David Nutt. Did I mention that DFL were not a part of this trial until they invited themselves to the party and that their Advocate initially argued that the Judge had allocated too much time for for the trial. It’s therefore hard to see DFL’s tactics as to be much more than dispute everything and run out the clock when you don’t get your way. But that’s just my view.
Another spanner in the works was the submission of 4000 pages of new evidence by DFL just last week, despite the trial already being well underway. Again, this is after their initial attempt to get all evidence presented by many of the expert witnesses dismissed. Why you make ask? Because the legalisation-opposition A-Team felt that it was not worth doing their trial homework for months beforehand and therefore now reckoned it shouldn’t be their problem to deal with it in court. Make what of this as you will. To me it appears to be much the same message as that of the rent-a-protester crowd outside the courthouse. A message with Orwell’ian echos of some people simply just being more equal than others. Particularly if you’ve got the might of morality on your side and some tax funded support in your back pocket. DFL Adv. Willis calling Prof. Nutt a “Moron” and lead protest supporters claiming that Cannabis makes children rape their mothers were perhaps the only really tasty peppering of juicy drama.
While we await a date on when the trial will resume, it has currently ended pretty much the same way it began. With DFL firing off disputes at every opportunity. The legal teams had agreed to postpone the court case in light of DFL submitting new evidence beyond late and them all first needing a chance to go through it. Too which DFL disputed that this was in fact not the case and that the adjournment is due to The Dagga Couple not having their expert witnesses in order. I asked The Dagga Couple what their thoughts were about minutes after the adjournment was announced.
Myrtle Clarke expressed a need to “make it clear that our expert witnesses have never been and are not an issue. Even though Doctors For Life’s advocates had taken up most of the court’s time when they claimed that there would be too much time, we have consistently kept up with the rescheduling needs.”
Jules Stobbs added, “The Trial Of The Plant has concluded for this session. Our legal team have been concerned with the sheer volume of evidence the State and DFL have thrust upon us in the last few days. We could put another witness in the stand but as you all know, the devil is in the detail and we’d also run the risk of the defence stagnating the proceeding with another lengthy cross examination.”
All in all it it feels as if Season 1 has only been preparation for what is certain be an even bigger follow up. Let’s just hope that it however doesn’t become round 2 of DFL wanting their cake and then taking a fucking eternity to eat it in front of all us. That would be a real Dudley Dursley move.