Dagga can be used in the home, Western Cape High Court rules

2017-03-31 10:12
The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court has made a landmark ruling, declaring that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes.

In making the ruling on Friday, it has allowed for the possession, cultivation and use dagga at home, for private use.

It has also ruled that Parliament must change sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act.

It has 24 months to do so.

The successful application to decriminalise dagga was driven by Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince who argued on December 13 and 14 last year for the decriminalisation of the herb.

Acton, Prince, and 18 plaintiffs applied to the court for the Criminal Prohibition of Dagga Act (sections 4b and 5c), read with certain sections of Part III of Schedule 2 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, to be declared unconstitutional.

Those sections make it a crime to possess a drug, unless it is for a variety of medical reasons. The Drugs and Trafficking Act defines what constitutes a drug.

They are also challenging the Medicines and Related Substances Act.

They submitted that the laws prohibiting dagga use are unfair, discriminatory, outdated, and applied disproportionately to black users.

The two have been helping people arrested for possession of dagga by obtaining a stay of prosecution, pending the outcome of their application.

Prince was arrested for possession of dagga in 1989, while a law student at the University of the Western Cape.

He paid a R60 fine and thought that was the end of it. When he graduated and applied to the Cape Bar to be admitted as an attorney, he was rejected because of the dagga conviction, and because he refused to apologise for it.

To Prince, using dagga was a religious choice as a Rastafarian. He unsuccessfully brought an application to the Constitutional Court to have it decriminalised for religious purposes.

He became a community legal adviser, but was arrested again in 2012 for growing dagga in his garden in Kraaifontein.

Read more on:    cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
Travel Dreams? Where would you rather be right now?

Partnered: Whether you're missing family overseas, dreaming of family adventures or romantic hideaways we all have that one place we'd rather be right now - but have you thought about the best way to get there?

/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.