The Western Cape High court has finally handed down its judgment in support of the use of dagga in South African homes.
Delivering the judgment on Friday, the high court chief Judge allowed for the possession, cultivation and use dagga at home, for private use.
Pro-dagga parties, lobbyists and activist Gareth Prince made the application at the high court in support of IFP MP Mario Ambrosini who first proposed the bill before his death in 2014.
The application was for court to declare ‘unconstitutional’, 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.
The group requested for dagga users to have the same rights as alcohol and tobacco users and argued that the state could not substantiate claims of harm to society or individuals.
The South African public were called to air their opinion on the matter with Thursday 30 March being the deadline for public comments on the bill.
Yesterday was the deadline for public comment on the bill which would regulate the growing of medical dagga by issuing a permit for the controlled cultivation of it for medicinal use.
In its Friday ruling, the high court not only permitted the possession, cultivation and use dagga at home, for private use, it also ruled that Parliament must in 24 months (two years) change sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act.
Sections 4b and 5c of the Criminal Prohibition of Dagga Act made it a crime to possess a drug, unless it is for a variety of medical reasons while the sections of Part III of Schedule 2 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, defines what constitutes a drug.
They are also challenging the Medicines and Related Substances Act.
“The entire dagga legalization movement is condemning the Abrosini Bill. We spit on it. We will not ever contract with it,” Acton said, adding that if passed‚ the new law would simply give licences to an elite few growers‚ and would give the resource to big pharmaceutical companies.
“It makes us illegal in terms of growing our own medicine. People should have the free right to contract among each other on the supply and consumption of cannabis.”
Meanwhile, the Medicines Control Council’s Joey Gouws said the body was not in support of the bill, she said the bill rubbished the Medicines Act, which made provision for conditions the bill sought.
“I don’t think the proposed bill allows for the medicinal use of cannabis that the act cannot address‚” Gouws said.
“What the bill also tries to make provision for is to allow for innovation research‚ [but] the Medicines Act already allows for any research to be conducted under the supervision of the Medical Control Council.”
Having passed a law legalizing dagga, government is expected to make out plans on how to control and oversee the selling and cultivation of the plant across South Africa.