Perhaps this was expected – the public gallery erupted in cheers as the Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that it is actually legal to cultivate dagga for personal use and consume it privately in the home.
In a unanimous judgment handed down by Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, the ConCourt – highest court in the land, effectively decriminalised the private use of dagga.
The ruling follows a ruling by the Western Cape High Court that marijuana (or dagga) can be used at home.
In 2017, Western Cape High Court Judge, Dennis Davies, ruled that a ban on the use of dagga at home was against the constitutional right to privacy.
The case had been brought before the ConCourt by parties that include, the leader of Dagga Party, Jeremy Acton, after several government departments appealed the Western Cape High Court ruling and wanted dagga use at home to remain criminalised.
However, activists brought a legal challenge based on medical studies that showed alcohol caused more harm than dagga and that there was little data to show that criminalising dagga reduced harmful use.
Judge Zondo also said that the court took into consideration new trends in international law allowing the private use of dagga at home.
Judge Zondo said that Parliament must now change its Drug Trafficking and Medicines Control Acts over the next two years.
He also emphasised that the judgement doesn’t specify the amount that can be used by an adult in private use, which must now be determined by Parliament.
The ConCourt has in the meantime allowed ‘interim relief’ that allows people to smoke dagga at home and grow enough for personal use at home.
But before you go and start smoking your joints, Judge Zondo warned that it is still illegal for minors and adults to smoke or possess marijuana publicly.
It is actually legal to cultivate dagga for personal use and consume it privately in the home.
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