Many people are awaiting an update on South African cannabis legislation. And while the nation awaits the Constitutional Court’s decision around the ownership, use and cultivation of cannabis, many South Africans are dabbling in cannabis anyway. The South African cannabis legislation is in limbo. Citizens are daily caught and charged with possession of cannabis because there is no finality on a few clauses in the law.
The Western Cape High Court ruled last year that some sections of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, and the Medicines Act, are not valid. These sections need to be revised as it is not fair to ban the use of cannabis by adults in their private homes. Once the Constitutional Court has decided that these clauses are indeed invalid, then adults will be allowed to grow, own and use cannabis in the privacy of their own homes. Meanwhile, many people are simply going ahead and doing just that.
It appears that the Medicines Control Council is now sorting out cannabis legislation, with help from the South African Police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Many South Africans are worried that this alliance will take the homegrown cannabis from poor, rural growers and give it to the big pharmaceuticals. This is totally unfair, as it is the growers who need to benefit financially and find a way to farm cannabis that is viable and sustainable.
Meanwhile, there is no update on South African cannabis legislation. But there is a brand new cannabis dispensary in Durban and a coffee shop in Johannesburg’s wealthy Sandton is selling cannabis. Many people know that you can buy cannabis on the street, in herb shops and at flea markets too. Once cannabis legislation has been sorted out, anyone who wishes to grow, make or import medical cannabis products must get a licence in terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act. Meanwhile cannabis is illegal, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is psychoactive.
You can visit the all new Holistic Relief Wellness and Pain Management Centre in Durban for your cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis products. owner, Krithi Thaver, is working with government to ensure they realise the scientific evidence regarding THC and CBD and how both cannabis cannabinoids are powerful alternative medications. He claims to be able to treat cancer using cannabis at his centre and says that his cannabis oils come from the United States while South Africa debates its cannabis legislation.
When you are next in Johannesburg, look for a hemp shop or an African artifacts shop, a flea market or a reggae shop and you will be able to buy cannabis. If you like a rush at lunch break, head to 420 Cafe in Sandton for a herb burger followed by a huge joint. The menu is extensive and everyone knows about it. This is the kind of trade that benefits the rural cannabis growers. But will they still benefit if commercial cannabis is legalised in South Africa? The troubles start when the MCC sells homegrown cannabis to huge pharmaceuticals and the growers are left out of the equation.
While South Africans wait for a legislation update, medical cannabis is being legalised in more countries worldwide as governments start to acknowledge the innate power of this alternative medication. Watch this space!