The north-west has become a haven for dagga smokers as members of the public and police are reportedly indulging in it as a recreational drug. The majority of the residents Informanté spoke to are troubled by the growing usage of the drug, which is now as commonly used as cigarettes in the streets and back-yards across the town.
“Guys are smoking it while sitting at the gates of their houses on the main road near Jabulani Store, while cars and people are passing. It seems they are not scared of being arrested,” complained an elderly resident who refused to be identified due to fear of reprisals.
Informanté interviewed some users of the herbal drug, while they were smoking behind one of the houses. “We are scared of being arrested, but we are addicted to dagga, so we don’t have any option, but to use it,” said one youth who identified himself as Bow-Wow. Most of the guys who were smoking with Bow-Wow refused to identify themselves. The custom is to give each other a chance to smoke after three puffs, before giving it to the next person. The youths also had a 5 liter water container close at hand to drink from, as their throats get dry if the quality is good.
Aside from members of the public who indulge in the illegal pastime, which has become fashionable in Namibia, members of the Khorixas police are also suspected of using dagga in the bushes while in uniform.
“The police officers are smoking it in their work clothes and so it difficult for them to crack down on the drug users,” an irate male resident complained.
According to another resident, the wife of a well-known police officer recently caused a commotion near the Ministry of Labour office where she accused her husband and friends of smoking dagga, as it has become an irritation to her.
Khorixas Station Commander, Hiskia Nuuyoma, confirmed to Informanté that some members of Police are suspected of using cannabis. “There is a possibility that some police officers are using it. That cannot be ruled out. Some officers are either smoking it, know were dagga is sold, or have friends who smoke it, but remain silent on the issue,” said Nuuyoma. No police officers have been arrested, but Nuuyoma said the police are also under surveillance.
According to Nuuyoma one or two people out of every five residents on the streets are smoking dagga, while almost every fourth house is trading in the illegal herb. The local police chief also complained that the public is not forthcoming with information. “When it comes to other crimes the public collaborates to give information, but with dagga they rather remain quiet,” Nuuyoma said. During stop-and-search operations police found that two out of every five people were in possession of dagga.