Man to challenge validity to dagga laws

2015-10-20 09:54
(AP)

(AP)

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

Pietermaritzburg - A high court judge postponed the criminal trial of a Durban man who says he intends challenging the validity of South Africa’s dagga laws in the Constitutional Court.

Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel granted an order postponing the trial of Christian Mark-James Baker (23), of Glenashley, which was due to be held in Phoenix, pending the outcome of his Constitutional Court application.

However, the court order stipulates that Baker must institute his case in that court within 60 days, or else the criminal charges will be automatically reinstated.

Baker said in court papers he is following in the steps of a number of people in the Western Cape who have lodged similar challenges against the prohibition of the use of dagga by South Africans.

He said the word dagga is “highly sensitive and stigmatised” in this country and he wants to change that. “We have seen reactions to the word in South African society vary from disgust, anger and censure to laughter and even expressions of enthusiasm,” he said.

Baker said he was arrested on May 23 this year and appeared in court for the first time the following day, charged with possession and/or dealing in dagga.

“I have been smoking dagga for several years without harm. I smoke it and sometimes eat it for its known medicinal benefits, and as part of my personal and spiritual beliefs and practices. I regularly consume dagga seeds as part of my diet as a health supplement,” he said.

Baker, who said he is a member of The Dagga Party of SA, a registered political party, added dagga seeds are “not narcotic” and contain 24% protein. He alleges cannabis (dagga) is only prohibited “because it cannot be patented” and pharmaceutical companies stand to lose millions in revenue should the public insist on their right to use dagga for self-medication.

Asked to plead to the charges facing him in the Phoenix Magistrate’s Court, Baker pleaded not guilty, saying it was “not morally possible to admit to an alleged crime where there is no victim”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dagga  |  court

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

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
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.