Cannabis legalized in South Africa. I keep thinking it might still be an April fools joke and keep checking the date. But I just blazed a legal joint in my own home on the 31st of March 2017, in South Africa.
Two heroes have just walked out of the Cape Town High courts a few hours ago with a landmark case under their belts. Jeremy Acton and Gareth Prince have made history in South Africa today by allowing adults to cultivate, possess, and use cannabis (known locally as Dagga) in their own private homes.
The High Court ruled today that cannabis is legal for private home use as the laws were unconstitutional. “Acton, Prince, and 18 plaintiffs applied to the court for 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, to be declared unconstitutional.”
Jeremy Acton and Gareth Prince have fought many years for this momentous outcome but still face the Constitutional Courts for it to be passed as law in South Africa.
So what happens now with cannabis in South Africa?
Parliament now has a 2 year period to formulate a realistic plan for a legal cannabis market and update the laws. The state might appeal. Until then all cannabis prosecutions will be suspended around South Africa. So officially it’s still not yet legal, but it is a huge step in the right direction. Earlier this year the South African government took its first steps in creating a market for medical cannabis through a regulated and licensed proposal.
We could be lucky and see the proposal this coming month. Coming up in August, the Dagga Couple will be blowing down the doors of the courts with their Constitutional Court challenge and hopefully paving the way for a greener future for all South Africans who can use this plant freely.
Pictures by: Nicki Nix