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South Africa’s Top Court Legalises Personal, Private Cannabis Use

South Africa’s Top Court Legalises Personal, Private Cannabis Use”

In the interim, it will not be a criminal offence for an adult to cultivate or use dagga in private.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the private cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis is legal. However, they contended that, if the High Court was right to confine its order of invalidity to the infringement of the right to privacy, it should not have confined this to a home or private dwelling because the right to privacy extends beyond the boundaries of a home.

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

The ruling follows a Western Cape High Court judgment that the possession, cultivation and use of dagga for private use was allowed. In my view, a period of 24 months from the date of this judgment would be appropriate.

It has declared them invalid.

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

In addition to this, parliament has been given two years to change sections of both the drug trafficking act and the medicine controls act.

"If a police officer finds a person in possession of cannabis and he or she thinks it is not for personal consumption, he or she will ask the person such questions as may be necessary to satisfy himself or herself whether the cannabis he or she is in possession of is for personal consumption", Zondo said.

Previously, possessing, growing or using marijuana for personal use - even in small quantities - exposed users to fines of up to hundreds of dollars (euros) as well as jail time, although this latter punishment was rare.

In Zimbabwe, Marijuana use and possession is still illegal although the government has allowed the farming of the drug for medicinal use.

If the police officer, on reasonable grounds, suspects that the person concerned is in possession of that cannabis for dealing and not for personal consumption, the officer may arrest the person.



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