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South Africa High Court Decriminalises Private Marijuana Use, Cultivation

South Africa High Court Decriminalises Private Marijuana Use, Cultivation”

The Constitutional Court has officially ruled that the personal use of dagga is not a criminal offence and Deputy Chief Justice Zondo said that the right to privacy is not confined to a home or private dwelling.

"The ruling contradicts the efforts of government and the South African society to deal with drug addiction and crime in our country", said Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the opposition African Christian Democratic Party, in a statement.

Here are the details. In the meantime, it will be up to the police to determine whether or not a person is growing or possesses the plant for personal use or is using it to sell.

The case arguing for legal cannabis in South Africa all started in the High Court, when three cases challenging the constitutionality of South Africa's marijuana laws were consolidated into one.

"The order also makes clear that the relevant provisions are only unconstitutional to the extent that they trench upon the private use and consumption of a quantity of cannabis for personal purposes, which the legislative considers does not constitute undue harm".

Their dreadlocked spokesman Gareth Prince lauded the fact that South Africa had broken with Western mores by allowing its people to use what he called their traditional tobacco. "We should also be allowed to smoke cannabis in public", he said. He added that the previous law banning the use of marijuana was "unconstitutional and therefore invalid", according to The Telegraph. Private use does have the go-ahead as of Tuesday 18 September.

Lesotho was the first country in Africa to grant licenses to grow cannabis for medical and research purposes previous year.

Public use, selling the herb, or otherwise supplying it are still illegal in South Africa, where cannabis is known as "dagga".

Legal expert, Vishalan Naidu, says pending dagga-related cases prior the court's ruling will not be affected.

There is an abundance of cannabis in Africa with more than 10,000 tons being produced annually.

The Constitutional Court in Johannesburg has ordered parliament to draft new laws within 24 months to reflect its decision.

For Phephsile Maseko, the south african organization of traditional doctors, the judgment delivered Tuesday is "a great victory not only for the health practitioners but also for our patients".

Last year, Lesotho legalized the production of cannabis.



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