Decriminalisation of Cannabis in South Africa
What a day to be alive in South Africa. The South African Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, has ruled that the ban on private consumption, possession, and private cultivation of cannabis at home as unconstitutional, finally decriminalising cannabis.
Parliament has been given 24 months to change relevant sections of the drug trafficking act and medicines controls act after they were found to be constitutionally invalid. As from today, the 18th of September 2018, individuals are by law allowed to grow and smoke privately in their own home.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered the unanimous judgment in court today agreeing that adults using and growing cannabis at home are not breaking the law, but moreover, the the ban itself is in fact unconstitutional. The court found that the ban violated an individual’s constitutional right to privacy.
The Western Cape High Court case was brought by Rastafarian lawyer and activist Gareth Prince, alongside Jeremy Acton, leader of South Africa’s ‘Dagga Party’ Iqela Lentsango. Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs, South Africa’s ‘Dagga Couple’, signed on to the case as applicants hoping to secure a judgment that goes far beyond the right to consume the plant privately at home. Making history, this is a massive victory for these pioneers.
I’ve always been anti prohibition. I believe that the overall concept is highly flawed. It has been shown to fuels the black market, and it doesn't seem to work as a deterrent of any kind. Period. In the case of cannabis, it has been proven time and again that cannabinoids in both marijuana and hemp have huge health benefits. The hemp plant, which contains no THC, has incredible uses from fuel to gourmet and health foods, construction and building to beauty and wardrobe. It is literally the most versatile plant on the planet.
Today has been a great victory for our civil liberties. It is exciting to see South Africa participating in a global trend towards a reasonable approach to a phenomenal plant.