The South African government seems not to be happy with last month’s court approval of the private cultivation and use of dagga in South Africa.
Last month, Western Cape High Court approved the use of dagga by private individuals, saying it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes.
In making the ruling in March, the High court allowed for the possession, cultivation and use dagga at home, for private use and this decision marked success for long-time dagga advocates Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince, who have famously argued for the legalization since the turn of the millennium.
But, the South African government has appealed the ruling, saying the cultivation and use of the weed should still be made illegal.
In a paper filed this week, the National Director of Public Prosecutions and other government department said that none of the current legislation around marijuana use should be changed or amended.
Reacting to this, Jeremy Acton said they had expected the government to appeal the court order, and that the advocates now had a right to cross-appeal and even ask for more.
Civil and legal groups also made it clear that the court order did not suddenly make dagga use legal in the country, but rather indicated that current laws needed to change.
Dagga use remains illegal until the matter has been exhausted in the country’s courts, and a decision has been made, and the laws possibly changed.
But until various courts decide whether or not dagga use should be legalized, it is important to know that while using the drug by itself is unlikely to be life-threatening at any age, it has disadvantages. Some of these health hazards linked to its use include increased rates of anxiety, mood swing, and psychotic thought disorders.
Studies also have it that marijuana (dagga) use is also associated with relationship problems, poor academic performance, employment issues, and lower life satisfaction. With the increased potency of marijuana, these problems are even more significant for today’s users.
Marijuana use during adolescence is also reported to have some damaging effect in terms of impaired cognitive function, including memory issues, learning deficits, and lower IQs, all of which can persist into adulthood.
South African government disagrees with Cape Town’s court approval of the cultivation and use of dagga in South African homes.