Concourt rules in favour of personal, private use of dagga

Posted September 19, 2018

The Constitutional Court has delivered its long-awaited judgment on the legal status of private marijuana use in South Africa, declaring it legal within the confines of a home.

"It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private space, " Judge Raymond Zondo said in handing down the judgement.

The Constitutional Court dispensed with the High Court's limitation of its order to the use, cultivation or possession of cannabis at home or in private dwelling.

The ruling was a confirmation of a 2017 Western Cape High Court judgment that afforded the applicants the right to use the herb in the privacy of their homes freely.

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Every year, thousands of South Africans march on the streets of Cape Town demanding a relaxation of drugs laws to allow medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.

According to the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, anything under 115 grams can be successfully argued as being possessed for "personal use". gathered that Zondo said in his ruling that it was now incumbent on the ANC-led government to specify in the amended act how much dagga a person can use and carry.

Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke‚ known as the "Dagga Couple", joined the case, and asked the court to strike down laws banning the use‚ cultivation and sale of marijuana.

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All other exceptions regarding amounts and defining legal use is left up to the government to decide. The state additionally failed to produce any useful data to show that criminalising dagga use had led to a reduction in private usage. But, private use does have the go-ahead as of Tuesday September 18.

In April Zimbabwe became the second country in Africa, after Lesotho, to legalise the use of marijuana for medical use.

The news comes following claims that Coca-Cola is in "serious talks" with a cannabis production company to make a cannabis-infused drink.

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