18 September 2018|08 Muharram 1440|Ayesha Ismail
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that the ban on the private use and cultivation of dagga is unconstitutional.
The unanimous judgment decriminalises adults smoking dagga at home and growing enough marijuana for personal consumption.
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, however, reiterated that cannabis may not be consumed in public, nor distributed or sold, or used by minors.
The landmark ruling follows an appeal by the South African government against a lower court ruling, that legalised private dagga use, in 2017. Government argued that legalising dagga was not in line with South Africa’s constitutional values, given that it could harm citizens.
South Africa is the third country in Africa to legalise cannabis, following Lesotho in September 2017, and in Zimbabwe in April this year.
Gateway for other narcotics
The Sinoville Crisis Centre says it is devastated by Tuesday’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising the use of dagga by adults in private.
The Pretoria-based NGO assists people with various issues including drug abuse and domestic violence and are now concerned about the possibility of dagga becoming a gateway drug for other narcotics.