The sad part is 90% of these charges are without correct cause and intent, but rather are a result of poor training and understanding of laws from the cops side. The biggest issue is that we essentially find sanctuary in the grey areas of the newly passed cannabis laws. This means that it’s highly important to understand your rights and responsibilities in this process or your ignorance may result in you being charged.
Now the reason I found it important to explain the above is that I recently got pulled over and searched while having bud on my person and in my car. If I’m honest, I was sh*tting myself at first – until I realised I know my laws and I’m protected by the grey areas in some sense.
So let’s look at all of the essential things to keep in mind during this process.
- Don’t admit shit: The police in South Africa often attempt to get you to admit guilt on the spot. Stay silent to any claims but respond to action based questions, like “Why do you have dagga on you?” and so on.
- Understand your rights: This is especially important as understanding what you can and cannot do will allow you to have more say and control over the claims being made towards you.
- Stand your ground: In the case that the police are persistent to take you to the station to book you, it’s vital that you refuse to leave the scene until your representing party is present. This is your right and will slow and aggravate the process, allowing you to get your ducks in a row and be represented correctly as once you’re physically in the station – you’re on their home turf.
- Be calm, kind and logical: The worst thing you could do in this situation is to be arrogant and disrespectful. So let the law do the work and keep those words kind and calm.
In short, staying calm will only benefit you if you get pulled over. From personal experience, freaking out will only let the cops know you’re in the wrong. So know your laws and be confident in yourself and the steps needed to prove your innocence.
Peace, love and success
– Billy Bong