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Cannabis legalisation grows with South Africa ruling

21 September 2018

While the new laws are being written, it will be legal for South Africans to grow and consume cannabis in private.

Most South Africans are celebrating the legalisation of private cultivation and use of Indian hemp after the country's highest court ruled in favour of activist who had filed a suit at the court. His judgment decriminalized some, however, not the use of marijuana in public, or marketing.

However, Zondo never defined what this meant, said Wits University associate professor, advocate James Grant.

The State defended the provisions in the interests of "the health, safety and psychological well-being of persons affected by the use of cannabis". Lesotho and Zimbabwe are countries in Africa where the use of marijuana is legal.

However, today the Concourt agreed with Justice Davies and decriminalised the private use of marijuana.

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

The court has not approved - in any form - the trade in marijuana, meaning the government will not be able to profit from taxing a legalised industry.

It is pertinent to note that right to privacy is specifically guaranteed as a fundamental right as per Section 14 of the South African Constitution.

South Africa joins a number of countries that have taken a similar step, among them Canada and Portugal.

When the High Court originally made its ruling in late March 2017, it suspended its own decision for 24 months.

What does this landmark decision entail and will the nation become the third ever to fully legalize cannabis?

"I will, therefore, not confirm that part of the order of the high court because we have no intention of decriminalising dealing in cannabis". The Rastafarians in South Africa have also been ecstatic with the news of legalization.

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

The scientific community remains divided on the medical benefits of cannabis.

Cannabis legalisation grows with South Africa ruling