Dealing in dagga still illegal, warns SAPS

2019-11-13 06:00

THE South African Police Service (SAPS) yesterday issued a stern warning that dealing in dagga is still illegal, saying it will act against anyone selling or buying the plant.

“The establishment of illegal dispensaries or outlets, online sites and social-media platforms that are marketing and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products to the public, remain illegal, except where specifically allowed in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act,” SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said in a joint statement by the police and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

“Some of these illegal businesses, purporting to be operating legally in terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No. 22 of 2007), are also being sold to members of the public as franchises authorised to deal in cannabis and cannabis-related products,” Naidoo said.

“In terms of the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, the definition of ‘traditional medicine’ means an object or substance used in traditional health practice for the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a physical or mental illness or any curative or therapeutic purpose, including the maintenance or restoration of physical or mental health or well-being in human beings, but does not include a dependence-producing or dangerous substance or drug.

“As a result, the Traditional Health Practitioners Act does not create a mechanism to sell cannabis and cannabis-related products that are not exempted in terms of the Medicines Act.”

Naidoo reminded the public of the effect of the Constitutional Court judgment handed down on September 18 last year.

“The effect of the judgment is that only an adult person — 18 years and older — may use, possess or cultivate cannabis in private for personal consumption in private. The use, including smoking, of cannabis in public or in the presence of children or non-consenting adults is not allowed.”

Naidoo said dealing in cannabis remains a serious criminal offence. He said the police are mandated to and will act, not only against businesses that sell cannabis illegally, but also the customers who buy these products. — News24.


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