South Africa's highest court legalises cannabis use

Pauline Gross
September 18, 2018

The judgement did not say how much cannabis one may have at home for private use.

Prince argued that the criminalisation of dagga use and possession was a violation of the right to equality, dignity, and freedom of religion.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed down the judgement, which confirmed that sections 4 (b) and 5 (b) of the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking read in part with section 22 (A)(9)(a)(i) of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act were constitutionally invalid.

On Tuesday (18 September) the Constitutional Court upheld that it should be legal for citizens to cultivate and consume marijuana for personal use in private.

Justice Raymond Zondo said he took into account global law allowing the private use of dagga at home.

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"If the police are of the view that the person is in the possession to resell, he can be arrested but a court will determine the outcome", said Zondo.

Parliament will have to address the constitutional defects in the Drugs Act and Medecins Act in the next 24 months in the statutory provisions in this judgment.

If, having heard what the person has to say, the police officer thinks that the explanation is not satisfactory, he or she may arrest the person.

It said the country's cannabis ban was in contradiction to its constitution which gives citizens the right to privacy. "Ultimately, it will be the court that will decide whether the person possessed the cannabis for personal consumption".

"This must be determined by parliament", he said.

Other reports by GizPress

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