SA legalises personal, private cannabis use

South Africa's Highest Court Decriminalizes Marijuana

South Africa's Highest Court Decriminalizes Marijuana

People smoke marijuana outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg as South Africa's top court is ruling over a law banning cannabis use on September 18, 2018.

They also cite medical research which suggests a link between heavy use of marijuana and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday upheld a provincial court's ruling in a case involving Gareth Prince, who advocates the decriminalization of the drug.

Prince says there is no truth in the misconceptions that cannabis is harmful.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702's Xolani Gwala, associate professor of Law at Wits University James Grant says the court did not define what private use was.

South Africa is a large source of herbal cannabis for the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

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In the meantime‚ the court specified it has granted interim relief that allows personal use at home.

The breakthrough for South African cannabis users came just a day after U.S. soft drinks giant Coca-Cola confirmed it was studying the use of a key ingredient in marijuana to make "wellness beverages".

In political terms, the landmark ruling emphasises the primacy of South Africa's constitution, which brushed aside the united opposition of numerous government ministries at a time when the authority and credibility of many of this young democracy's other institutions have been eroded by corruption and poor governance.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed down 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 unanimous judgment decriminalises adults smoking dagga at home and growing enough marijuana for personal consumption.

The order does not extend to use and possession of cannabis by a child, or by an adult in public.

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