South Africa legalises cannabis use

South Africa legalises cannabis use

South Africa's top court unanimously legalized the private use of cannabis on Tuesday, upholding a lower court's decision ruling that it was "unconstitutional and therefore invalid" to criminalize the drug, BBC reports.

The court said laws against it were inconsistent with the country's constitution. It will remain illegal to sell dagga in any form, and public use will remain prohibited as well.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was interrupted by loud applause several times as he read a unanimous judgment on behalf of several colleagues confirming a Western Cape High Court judgment by Judge Dennis Davis. The internet showed its joy in memes.

Some activists also called for cannabis to be decriminalised for use in public.

Meanwhile, the soft drink titan Coca-Cola says it has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks (CBD).

Judge Zondo said he took into account global law allowing the private use of dagga at home.

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Parliament now has 24 months to change the relevant sections of the Medicines Controls Act to bring it in line with the ruling.

Justice Raymond Zondo said he took into account worldwide law allowing the private use of weed at home.

The judgement did not say how much cannabis one may have at home for private use.

"It is true that there will be cases where it will be clear from all the circumstances that the possession of cannabis by a person is for personal use or consumption". The court did not rule on how many grams an adult will be allowed to use or more crucially carry.

It was now up to parliament to tighten up the legislation and provide definitions for an area in law which has now become very grey, said Grant.

"We have used cannabis to treat anxiety, colic in children and as an antiseptic in secret for many years", said Phephsile Maseko of the Traditional Healers Organisation.

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