Western Cape High Court rules in favour of marijuana use at home

HUVASAN REDDY

On 31 March, the Western Cape High Court ruled that it was an infringement to ban the use of marijuana by adults in private homes. The ruling allows for the cultivation, use, and possession of marijuana, and the court has given Parliament 24 months to amend portions of the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act.

The application was brought to the court by Dagga Party leader and marijuana use activist, Jeremy Acton, and community legal advisor, Gareth Prince, who is also a Rastafarian. The court heard arguments from the applicants on 13 and 14 December 2016. In an article titled “Dagga can be used in the home, Western Cape High Court rules”, published by News24 on 31 March, it was reported that Acton, Prince, and 18 other plaintiffs applied to the court for sections of the Criminal Prohibition of Dagga Act, read with sections of Part III of Schedule 2 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, to be declared unconstitutional. According to the article, the parties “submitted that the laws prohibiting dagga use are unfair, discriminatory, outdated, and applied disproportionately to black users.” In an article titled, “Now you can get high on your own supply. Dagga victory in the High Court”, EWN quoted Prince as saying, “Although the Western Cape High Court made the finding today, our law requires that this finding will still have to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court. So obviously, we would have to go back to the Constitutional Court for a confirmation hearing. But we believe that it’s a slam-dunk, it was a unanimous decision made here at the Western Cape court. Three judges declared the law to be unconstitutional.”

At the time of going to print, there was no indication on whether the state would be appealing the ruling of the Western Cape High Court.

 

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