South Africa legalises private use of marijuana

Elias Hubbard
September 18, 2018

The constitutional court in South Africa on Tuesday delivered a judgment that private use of marijuana, locally referred to as dagga, is not a criminal offence.

The judgement, Judge Zondo said, was two-fold: "it decriminalises the use or possession of cannabis by an adult in private for that adult person's personal consumption in private and it decriminalises the cultivation of cannabis by an adult for that adult's personal consumption in private".

You can now smoke dagga legally at home, and grow enough for personal consumption.

Last year, the Western Cape High Court decriminalised the use of marijuana at home.

Three cannabis users facing prosecution for consuming the drug have argued to the Constitutional Court that the prohibition of cannabis "intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres", breaching their constitutional rights.

This also extended to cultivating cannabis in a private place for personal consumption in private.

According to a report by News24, the 2017 ruling allows for the possession, cultivation, and use of dagga at home for private use.

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

The Cannabis Development Council of South Africa welcomed the ruling, and called on the government to drop charges against people found in possession of the drug.

Globally, the legal status of cannabis varies widely. It also gives Parliament 24 months to change a section of the medicine controls act.

The breakthrough for South African cannabis users came just a day after U.S. soft drinks giant Coca-Cola confirmed it was studying the use of a key ingredient in marijuana to make "wellness beverages".

"We are looking forward to telling the police to leave us alone now", said Clarke on the decriminalisation of private use.

Parliament would have to decide on this, it said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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