ConCourt decriminalize use and possession of dagga in private use by adult.
South Africa's Constitutional Court decriminalised the private use of marijuana on Tuesday. 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.
Previous year in March, Justice Dennis Davis handed down a judgment in the Western Cape High Court that declared sections of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act invalid and unconstitutional after an application brought by Rastafarian lawyer Gareth Prince, an advocate for the decriminalisation of marijuana. In my view, a period of 24 months from the date of this judgment would be appropriate.
The state, however, believes that it is not in line with the Constitution, as cannabis is more harmful to users than tobacco and alcohol.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed down the judgement, which confirmed that sections 4 (b) and 5 (b) of the Drugs and Drugs Trafficking read in part with section 22 (A)(9)(a)(i) of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act were constitutionally invalid.
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"In the case of cultivation of cannabis, the effect of this judgement is to decriminalise the cultivation of cannabis by an adult in a private place for that adult's personal consumption", he said.
"If the police are of the view that the person is in the possession to resell, he can be arrested but a court will determine the outcome", said Zondo.
This also extended to cultivating cannabis in a private place for personal consumption in private.
But ultimately, it would be up to the court to decide whether the person in possession of cannabis had the intent to deal it, or use it for his/her consumption.
It also found it unjustifiable to prevent a person from possessing, purchasing or cultivating cannabis in the privacy of their own homes.