SA court legalises private cannabis use

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

Justice Raymond Zondo said he took into account worldwide law allowing the private use of dagga at home.

South Africa's highest court decriminalised cannabis (dagga) use and private cultivation on Tuesday morning.

But the ministers of justice, police, health and trade challenged that finding, arguing that there was "objective proof of the harmful effects of cannabis".

He says the users of alcohol and tobacco are allowed to use these substances however they wish.

The Cannabis Development Council of South Africa welcomed the ruling, and called on the government to drop charges against people found in possession of the drug.

Previously, possessing, growing or using marijuana for personal use - even in small quantities - exposed users to fines of up to hundreds of dollars as well as jail time. In short, smoking dagga in the privacy of your own home is now perfectly legal, despite neighbourly objections and a fierce social stigma which has been attached to dagga thanks to South Africa's generally conservative makeup.

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And while thousands of naturalists, herbalists, homoeopathy advocates and dagga smokers all over South Africa celebrate the landmark ruling, questions surrounding the practical implications of the judgement have begun to surface.

Essentially, the ConCourt has declared that the ban on private use and the cultivation of dagga within a private home or property, is unconstitutional.

Justice Zondo steered clear of the recommended amount of weed one can farm, saying the ruling party African National Congress would table recommendations in parliament.

The Constitutional Court has handed down its judgement on the private use of marijuana, as reported by eNCA.

Meanwhile, the soft drink titan Coca-Cola says it has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks (CBD).

"We have used cannabis to treat anxiety, colic in children and as an antiseptic in secret for many years", said Phephsile Maseko, of the Traditional Healers Organisation.

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