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Is marijuana legal in South Africa? Is marijuana legal in South Africa?

Bronze medal Reporter Adv. Thomson Posted 23 Jan 2019 Read More News and Blogs
Is marijuana legal in South Africa?

South Africa’s highest Court has legalized the private use of  marijuana for adults , upholding a lower court's ruling that found the use of cannabis was unconstitutional. The court stated that the right to privacy was violated by prohibiting the possession, purchase, or planting of cannabis for personal intake by an adult in a private area.


The case was pursued by various parties, including a Cape Town lawyer, Gareth Prince, who is a practising Rastafarian. It was opposed by, among others, the ministers of Justice and Constitutional Development of the country, Police and Health; the country’s National Director of Public Prosecutions and the NGO Doctors for Life International.  Government authorities said that the cannabis is harmful and should be illegal.The Constitutional Court has considered various facts for making this rule. The court also validated the medical evidence that was used when the case was first brought to a the Western Cape High Court and  evidence of case about the religious use of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in South Africa has covered only the legal facts of drug policy. Selling and supplying the drug still remains illegal.


Cannabis grows well in South Africa's climate. For the purpose of export and domestic use , marijuana is widely cultivated in the country.  In accordance with the US state report, South Africa is a large source of herbal marijuana for the United Kingdom and continental Europe. The court's ruling make a turning point in Africa's history of cannabis prohibition. In 2017, South African lawmakers were only just beginning to debate a law to legalize a limited medical marijuana program that would only allow the use of cannabis oils. By the end of last year, three African nations -Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa- were legalized cannabis.


The Constitutional Court pointed that the private consumption of small amount of cannabis had been legalized in many other  countries. Cannabis use is prohibited in most countries, but has been legalized in Canada for recreational purposes , Georgia, Uruguay,and 29 states in the United States.



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