NEWS

It's Legal In Western Cape: Rastafarians Elated Over High Court's Dagga Ruling

You can now legally grow dagga and use it privately at home.

31/03/2017 13:21 SAST | Updated 31/03/2017 13:26 SAST
Gallo Images / Die Burger / Lulama Zenzile
Rastafarians a march to Parliament to handover a memorandum of grievances on March 1, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. The march was held in an effort to create public awareness of the Rastafarian community and their faith.

Rastafarians cheered through plumes of smoke, and shouted "history", after Judge Dennis Davis declared the private use of dagga legal on Friday.

The Western Cape High Court made the landmark ruling, declaring that it is an infringement of constitutional rights to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes.

In making the ruling on Friday, it has allowed for the possession, cultivation and use of dagga at home — for private use.

It has also ruled that Parliament must change sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act.

It has 24 months to do so.

"Jah Bless," shouted one man after the ruling, as ordinary passers-by shook hands with Garreth Prince and Jeremy Acton who had brought the application to decriminalise the use of dagga.

"Who is the best judge? Judge Davis is the best judge in the land," shouted an old man.

"Thank you so much," said a man in a tracksuit, holding Prince's hand in gratitude.

Prince explained that the judgment meant that an adult could have, cultivate and use dagga at home.

Prosecutions for private possession could now be dropped, he said.

Prince said this meant the police would be freed up to deal with more pressing crimes.

Acton said the matter was about the right to privacy.

"If it is in your home and it is not for sale you have the right to have it and use it, as an adult."

He said he would make the judgment available to every magistrate, to get them to understand the ruling on private use.

This judgment does not allow for the right to sell dagga.

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