South Africa legalises cannabis and marijuana use

South Africa legalises cannabis and marijuana use

- South Africa’s highest court has legalised the use of cannabis and marijuana

- The country becomes the third in Africa after Zimbabwe and Lesotho to legalise cannabis

- The South African government has thus been called on to drop charges against people found in possession of the drug

South Africa has become the third country after Zimbabwe and Lesotho – second and first countries, respectively – to legalise the use of cannabis.

This is contained in a BBC report sighted by

The legalisation was made by the country’s highest court to allow adult citizens to use cannabis in private places.

Marijuana plant

Marijuana plant
Source: Getty Images

READ ALSO: Akua GMB reveals why she married 'old' Dr. Oteng of many wives

Excited pro-marijuana activists were reported to have cheered in the public gallery and chanted “Weed are free now” when the constitutional court gave its landmark ruling.

In a unanimous ruling, judges also legalised the growing of marijuana for private consumption.

It will, however, remain illegal to use cannabis in public, and to sell and supply it, the court stressed.

The South African government had opposed its legalisation, arguing the drug was “harmful” to people’s health.

READ ALSO: Kofi Annan buried on stolen land – Ga-Dangme Youth

Three cannabis users who had faced prosecution for using the drug brought the case to the court, saying the ban “intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres”.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, in his judgement, said: “It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption.”

The Cannabis Development Council of South Africa welcomed the ruling, and subsequently called on the government to drop charges against people found in possession of the drug.

However, Jeremy Acton, the leader of the Dagga Party, which campaigns for the use of cannabis, said the ruling should have gone further to legalise the carrying of marijuana in public places.

Cannabis is referred to as “dagga” in South Africa.

READ ALSO: New video gives credence to Nana Ama McBrown pregnancy report

The court thus gave parliament 24 months to change the law to reflect its ruling.

In the interim, adults who used marijuana in private would be protected by the ruling until the law was amended, the report said.

The court stated that South Africa’s parliament would have to decide on and specify the quantity of cannabis a person can grow or use in private.

READ ALSO: Blame NPP government for cedi depreciation – Kennedy Agyapong

In April, Zimbabwe became the second country in Africa, after Lesotho, to legalise the use of marijuana for medical use.

This judgement is a reminder that South Africa’s hard-won constitution is among the most liberal in the world, backing individual rights, and in this case the right to grow and smoke your own marijuana in private, against the government’s concerns about public health and public order.

The constitutional court’s ruling focuses on the issue of privacy, and a person’s right to do as they please in their own home.

READ ALSO: "Them bad boys wanted to come out and play" - Yvonne Okoro on her 'tight' red dress

Kofi Annan Farewell Ceremony: Ghana Says Goodbye to Kofi Annan - Ghana News Today |

Subscribe to watch new videos

READ ALSO: Akufo-Addo deceiving us after we gave him GHC200K for campaign - Spare parts dealers

Have national and human interest issues to discuss?

Know someone who is extremely talented and needs recognition?

Your stories and photos are always welcome. Get interactive via our Facebook page


Related news
Yaw Dabo goes 'crazy'; fires Sister Derby for dissing Medikal and Fella Makafui (Video)

Yaw Dabo loses his cool; fires Sister Derby for dissing Medikal and Fella Makafui (Video)

Yaw Dabo loses his cool; fires Sister Derby for dissing Medikal and Fella Makafui (Video)
Mailfire view pixel