South Africa legalizes cannabis, highest court allows private use
Cannabis has been legalized in South Africa by the country’s highest court. The use of Cannabis (marijuana) was decriminalized on Tuesday, after a provincial high court last year, alongside Gareth Prince, found that the law against it was inconsistent with the country’s constitution.
Prince stated that marijuana should be regulated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco. Government authorities had however said marijuana is harmful and should be illegal. However the high court ruling, says an adult can cultivate marijuana in “a private place” as long as it is for personal consumption in private. It says the right to privacy “extends beyond the boundaries of a home.”
The court also said it would be up to a police officer to decide if the amount of cannabis in someone’s possession, is for personal consumption or dealing.
“It will not be a criminal offense for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” Judge Raymond Zondo said in handing down the judgment.
It was gathered that after the ruling, the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa called for the government to drop all charges of those who are have been found in possession of the drug.
Activists supporting the use of Marijuana cheered after the court reached a unanimous ruling, chanting “Weed are free now.” The high court also legalized the growing of marijuana for private use in a unanimous ruling.