ConCourt to rule on dagga legislation

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that personal use of marijuana is not a criminal offence

SA Constitutional Court Says Using And Growing Mbanje For Private Use Is Legal

The Western Cape High Court past year made a landmark ruling, declaring that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in their private homes.

It would therefore not be a criminal offence to use or be in possession of cannabis for personal consumption, in a private space.

The ruling hasn't however, said how much a person can legally have, and that will be up to parliament.

"The judgment does not specify how many grams of cannabis can a person use or have in private".

The court accepted medical studies that showed alcohol caused more harm than weed and that there was little data to show that criminalising weed reduced harmful use.

South Africa's Constitutional Court has decriminalised the private use of marijuana.

South Africa is a large source of herbal cannabis for the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

Celebrations broke out in the court, which was packed with marijuana advocates and members of South Africa's Rastafarian community.

The High Court also ruled that Parliament should change sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act.

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

The potential implications of the binding judgment are enormous, and unpredictable - particularly in terms of the criminal justice system, which routinely locks up thousands of overwhelmingly poor South Africans for using or dealing in small amounts of cannabis.

Adults who used marijuana in private would be protected by the ruling until the law was amended.

The Western Cape High Court also ordered that in the interim period, prosecutions for personal dagga possession as described in its judgment should be stayed.

Parliament would have to decide on this, it said.

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