The Constitutional Court has ruled that smoking dagga in your home for private use is legal.
This comes after Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince approached the Western Cape High Court in 2017 to decriminalise dagga for private use; specifically, for people who use cannabis for medicinal, spiritual, recreational and other reasons. A Western Cape High Court judge then ruled that banning the use of marijuana at home breached the constitutional right to privacy. However, he did not legalise the sale of dagga or transporting dagga to a private home.
The Constitutional Court’s unanimous judgement decriminalises adults smoking dagga at home and growing enough marijuana for personal use, and Judge Zondo, who presided over the case, also mentioned that he took international laws around the private use of dagga into account. Medical studies that revealed alcohol was more harmful than dagga and data that showed criminalising cannabis doesn’t necessarily reduce harmful use also played important roles in the ruling.
Of course, “private use” is important to take note of as the Court made it clear that dagga cannot be smoked in public, and that dealing will remain illegal.
Parliament now has 24 months to amend laws on the use of dagga at home.