Dagga law challenge back in court

2016-12-13 07:19

(iStock)

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

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court is on Tuesday expected to hear the Dagga Party's application to have the prohibition of dagga declared unconstitutional.

The hearing was previously postponed to give the State time to analyse a report on current cannabis policy in South Africa.

The Dagga Party is challenging the constitutionality of 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.

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.

The application got underway after the arrest of a number of people who openly use dagga for spiritual and health reasons, including Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton, who was arrested for possession.

Acton wants the prosecution against him stopped, pending the Constitutional Court's ruling on his application.

This would be in line with a similar case in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, where prosecution was stopped pending an application to a high court on constitutional grounds.

The applicants believe that sections of the Drugs Act are unconstitutional, outdated, and the product of unscientific propaganda, and are now part of a defunct racist and political agenda.

The application is against the ministers of justice, social development, international relations, police, health, and trade and industry.

Harmful or not

During their last appearance, Rastafarian Garreth Prince, who lost a previous Constitutional Court attempt to legalise the herb, said they were challenging the constitutionality of the Drugs Act.  

“This is not about whether drugs are harmful or not. It is about freedom of choice. We don't criminalise alcohol or tobacco,” he said.

Prince's career as a lawyer ended when the Cape Law Society would not admit him because he was convicted of drug possession as a student.

Fourteen years ago, his lawyers argued in the Constitutional Court that, as a Rastafarian, he used dagga for spiritual and religious purposes.

He lost the case and became a legal adviser.

“It changed my life completely. I can only give people legal advice and help them to prepare for a case. I cannot go into court and represent them,” he told News24 in August. 

Read more on:    jeremy acton  |  garreth prince  |  health

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

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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.