S.Africa’s top court legalises personal, private cannabis use

South African Supreme Court legalizes weed consumption

The Constitutional Court noted that the personal consumption of small quantities of marijuana had been decriminalised or legalised in many other democratic countries.

It found provisions of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act inconsistent with the right to privacy in prohibiting the cultivation of cannabis by an adult in a private place for personal consumption in private. "The additional resources that may be unlocked for use of policing of serious crimes can not be over emphasised", said the High Court.

Scenes from outside the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. The internet showed its joy in memes.

Tuesday's ruling backed a decision made by a provincial court a year ago that legalized the private use of marijuana in the province of Western Cape, where the country's legislative capital, Cape Town, is located.

This now means that the law criminalizing the private use of marijuana is now unconstitutional and invalid. His judgment decriminalized some, however, not the use of marijuana in public, or marketing.

South Africa legalises cannabis use
South Africa’s top court legalises personal, private marijuana use

The court also ordered the South African parliament to draft new laws within 24 months to reflect the order, though private use can still go ahead as of Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

"If the police officer, on reasonable grounds, suspects that the person concerned is in possession of that cannabis for dealing and not for personal consumption, the officer may arrest the person", read the court's announcement on the ruling. "We should also be allowed to smoke cannabis in public", he said. Now all that has changed, because the country's highest court, the Constitutional Court, has declared the substance legal, the BBC reports.

The High Court judgment had noted that criminalisation of cannabis is characterised by "the racist footprints of a disgraceful past". What is not yet clear is how many grams of cannabis can a person use privately.

But in July the Dutch government gave the green light to a wide-ranging experiment to allow up to 10 municipalities around the country to legally grow cannabis. But they would need to obtain the seeds or buy them from someone else - who is, by definition, a dealer.

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