UPDATED: Dagga ruled legal for private use

The Western Cape High Court has ruled that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga at home.

Rastafarian lawyer Garreth Prince‚ the Dagga Party and several others brought the issue before the High Court‚ arguing that cannabis should not be a prohibited substance listed in the Drugs and Trafficking Act.

On Friday a full bench ruled in their favour.

The ruling on Friday allows for the possession‚ cultivation and use of dagga at home.

“It has also ruled that Parliament must change sections of the Drug Trafficking Act‚ as well as the Medicines Control Act‚’’ the report read.

The Anti-drug Alliance believes the ruling is “a win” for drug addicts.

The alliance’s coastal director Andrew Stoller said that dagga could now be used as an “exit drug” in rehabilitation programmes.

“The argument has been used that it is a gateway drug but we have found that it can be used as an exit drug‚” said Stoller.

He said that in their experience in working with alcoholics dagga was used to effectively remedy addiction.

He said the judgement also meant that medical companies could start testing the plant’s medicinal effectiveness.

Judge Dennis Davis ruled in favour of Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton who brought an application to decriminalise the private use of dagga and growing the plant.

Davis declared the limitations on the private use of dagga “unjustifiable” in terms people’s constitutional right to privacy.

“I smoked about ten joints‚ went into my heart and made my plea statement. I listened to the cannabis and used it to express my truth‚” said Acton outside the court in Cape Town where a crowd of about fifty pro-dagga activists sang — some even lit dagga pipes.

“Cannabis won this case today‚ I was just the vehicle‚” said Acton.


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