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ConCourt rules children found using, possessing dagga must not be put through criminal justice system

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The Constitutional Court ruling confirms a Gauteng High Court finding that putting children through the criminal justice system for a cannabis-related offence has a disproportionally negative effect.
The Constitutional Court ruling confirms a Gauteng High Court finding that putting children through the criminal justice system for a cannabis-related offence has a disproportionally negative effect.
PHOTO: Alaister Russell/Gallo Images, Sowetan

The Constitutional Court has ruled that sections of the Drugs Act which criminalise the use or possession of cannabis by children are unconstitutional.

However, the justices stressed that the judgment did not legalise cannabis for children. Instead, it turns the consequences away from the criminal justice system and towards social assistance.

It means that options other than a criminal conviction and punishment must be used when a child is found in possession of, or using cannabis. 

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