Release | Mail & Guardian
On 18 September 2018, the Constitutional Court ordered that the private consumption and cultivation of cannabis/marijuana/dagga/hemp be decriminalised.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed 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.
The court noted that the right of privacy was not necessarily limited to a person’s home and its order went broader than the high court judgement, allowing adults to use cannabis in other private places.
However, judgement would immediately: Decriminalise the use or possession of cannabis by an adult in private for that adult person’s consumption. Decriminalise the cultivation (growth) of cannabis by an adult for that adult’s personal consumption in private. Allow discretion of the police officer to determine if an individual carrying cannabis outside of the home is using it for personal and private consumption or dealing. If a person is suspected of dealing, the police officer may arrest the person but ultimately, it will be up to the court to decide whether the person in possession of cannabis had the intent to deal it or use it for personal consumption.
According to international experts, South Africa’s dagga industry could be worth more than $7.1B (R107B) if legislation to legalise one of the continent’s biggest markets is passed. The World Health Organisation estimates SA is the third-largest dagga producer in the world, with an estimated 900 000 dagga farmers.”
So, after one year, what are the new developments, progress, implications and opportunities? November 2019 – SA police and the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) are busy clamping down on illegal cannabis and cannabis-related products, sales of which have mushroomed online since the Constitutional Court decriminalised the possession, consumption and private cultivation of the herb at home.
According to them, the establishment of illegal dispensaries/outlets, online sites and social media platforms that were marketing and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products to the public was still illegal, except where it was specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act. The SAPS is mandated to and will act, not only against businesses that sell cannabis illegally but also against the customers who buy these products.
In view of this, Mail & Guardian (M&G) will once again host an event, gathering the relevant stakeholders – government, private and public sector, businesses, professionals, consultants, legal, academia and civil society to come together to engage, clarify and debate on the future of cannabis, both for private and businesses purposes.
The event will take place this March at the Glenhove Conference Centre in Johannesburg. Tickets are selling at R3000. For more information on who should attend, what will be discussed and the list of speakers, visit their Quicket page right here. Contact Wan or firstname.lastname@example.org or 11 250 7300 for more information, booking and for a group discount.