South Africa is buzzing now that it is legal to use, grow and own cannabis (or dagga or marijuana or pot) at home. Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Tuesday 18 September that the use, cultivation and possession of cannabis is decriminalised when used privately at home. The Constitutional Court ruled that using cannabis in private at home is now permitted.
The South African Parliament now has two years in which to amend these acts and to clarify the boundaries around the use of cannabis in private at home. If privacy extends beyond the home, which is what Zondo said, then how far does this private space extend? What are the boundaries for growing cannabis and using it at home? The police will work with Parliament and lawyers to clarify these points. South Africa is watching as many countries around the world legalise cannabis and its products. Some for medical use only, others for medical and recreational use.
The new law allows anyone to use, grow and own cannabis at home. This includes cannabis products like cannabis oil. In addition, there is now huge potential for the cultivation and manufacturing of hemp products in South Africa. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sees opportunity in the commercialisation of hemp. South Africans need to be aware that big pharmaceuticals will want a piece of the cannabis pie and this could cut out the rights of the small grower. All South Africans need to stand together to ensure that cannabis is grown and sold locally so that local people benefit.
Zondo did not clarify the boundaries for what being at home means, nor did he clarify the amount of cannabis a person could use, grow or own. Sections 4(b) and 5(b) of the Drugs Act, and Section 22A(9)(a)(i) of the Medicines Act were declared unconstitutional and invalid because such Acts made it illegal for adults to use or own cannabis in the privacy of their own home, for their own private use. These acts therefore did not comply with the individual’s right to privacy as embedded in Section 14 of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, a medical cannabis dispensary has already opened its doors in Durban, run by a homeopath and general practitioner. The funder sits on the chair of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Cannabis Development Council of SA and said that the doctor first consults with patients before dispensing medical cannabis for their illnesses. He added that the cannabidiol (CBD) was legal in South Africa which makes his dispensary completely above board. And even more so now that cannabis is legal in private, for use and cultivation and possession. Go ahead and order your cannabis oil from us today!