South Africa Has Legalised Cannabis Use For Adults In Private Places

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People smoke marijuana outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg as South Africa's top court is ruling over a law banning cannabis use on September 18, 2018.

Cape Town - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe said he wanted Parliament to hold an urgent debate following the Constitutional Court's Tuesday ruling that it was legal to cultivate and consume cannabis for personal use.

The Constitutional Court has delivered a landmark ruling in which it decriminalises the private use of dagga.

The ruling was a confirmation of a 2017 Western Cape High Court judgment that afforded the applicants the right to use the herb in the privacy of their homes freely.

Three cannabis users facing prosecution for consuming the drug have argued to the Constitutional Court that the prohibition of cannabis "intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres", breaching their constitutional rights.

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The order makes it clear that only cultivation of marijuana for private use should be allowed, ruling out commercial growth of the drug as has occurred in the USA state of California, for example. "It did not specify a limit on the amount of dagga a person may have in their possession, leaving this for parliament to decide". Multiple government departments appealed and wanted weed use at home to remain illegal.

The ruling hasn't however, said how much a person can legally have, and that will be up to parliament.

Previously, possessing, growing or using marijuana for personal use - even in small quantities - exposed users to fines of up to hundreds of dollars (euros) as well as jail time, although this latter punishment was rare.

The country's Medical Research Council has already launched trials to help guarantee quality, consistency and standards, according to local media.

Prince says there is no truth in the misconceptions that cannabis is harmful. "Now we will be able to develop the plant even further".

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