SA court legalises private cannabis use

SA court legalises private cannabis use

Kerry Wise
September 19, 2018

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

Speaking outside the courtroom, Prince said the ruling was a victory.

South Africa's government had opposed its legalisation, arguing the drug was "harmful" to people's health.

Prince says cannabis should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco.

South Africa's top court ruled Tuesday that private, personal cannabis use was legal in a landmark case that had pitted law enforcement agencies against marijuana advocates and the judiciary.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo ruled that the right to privacy should not be limited to the home or private dwelling and should be extended to any private space.

Essentially, the ConCourt has declared that the ban on private use and the cultivation of dagga within a private home or property, is unconstitutional.

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Several members of the Rastafarian community were seen outside the highest court in the land, clad in their colourful regalia, smoking what they regard as a holy herb.

In Malawi, marijuana remains illegal.

The declaration of invalidity has been suspended for two years, to allow Parliament the opportunity to correct the Constitutional defects in the Drug Trafficking Act, and the Medicines Control Act.

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

Adults who used marijuana in private would be protected by the ruling until the law was amended. The court went on to say that those using and growing cannabis in the privacy of their own home should be left in peace.

South Africa is the third country in Africa to legalise cannabis, following Lesotho in September 2017, and in Zimbabwe in April this year.