South Africa Has Legalised Cannabis Use For Adults In Private Places

“Dagga is my right” a placard reads outside the Constitutional Court on Tuesday

On Tuesday (18 September) the Constitutional Court upheld that it should be legal for citizens to cultivate and consume marijuana for personal use in private.

It is now legal to grow and smoke weed in South Africa after the country constitutional court delivered a landmark ruling on the use of cannabis sativa.

News24.com reported that the Constitutional Court ruling follows a similar ruling by the Western Cape High Court a year ago which ruled that the private use and cultivation of dagga was not illegal.

Several government departments, including the health and justice ministries, oppose its legalization and warn of harmful effects.

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Government argued that legalising dagga was not in line with South Africa's constitutional values, given that it could harm citizens.

Tuesday's ruling will not decriminalise the use of the drug in public nor the offences of supplying or dealing - but cultivation for personal, private use will no longer be illegal for adults.

"It's not enough, we also have privacy in person, as we walk in a public space, therefore we should be allowed to carry cannabis in public", said Jeremy Acton, leader of the Dagga Party in South Africa which advocates for the rights of cannabis users.

"Just last week the damning statistics showed an increase of 30 981 in drug-related crime, up from 292,388 to 323,369, and this week, there is a Constitutional Court ruling that would see efforts to decrease that number hindered".

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The official status for dagga is that it is now "decriminalised".

Parliament is now expected to amend the laws that criminalize cannabis following the court ruling. "It did not specify a limit on the amount of dagga a person may have in their possession, leaving this for parliament to decide".

The news comes following claims that Coca-Cola is in "serious talks" with a cannabis production company to make a cannabis-infused drink.

He said that a police officer would have to consider all the circumstances, including the quantity of cannabis found in an adult person's possession.

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