Home Lifestyle South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that personal use of marijuana is not a criminal offence

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ruled that personal use of marijuana is not a criminal offence

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weed

In March last year, the Western Cape High Court ruled that personal use of marijuana (that’s Dagga to you and me) should be legal, declaring that bans on the usage of dagga by adults in private homes are unconstitutional. Today, the Constitutional Court has agreed, effectively making the personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis at home legal – or at the very least, decriminalised.

It gives parliament just two years to change the laws regarding home use of marijuana. The ruling hasn’t however, said how much a person can legally have, and that will be up to parliament.

“The right to privacy is not confined to a home or private dwelling. It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private space,” deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said in the ruling.

“This Court must invoke its powers under s 172 (1) (b) of the Constitution to order a suspension of the declaration of invalidity for a realistic period to ensure Parliament may correct the defect. In my view, a period of 24 months from the date of this judgment would be appropriate.

“The order also makes clear that the relevant provisions are only unconstitutional to the extent that they trench upon the private use and consumption of a quantity of cannabis for personal purposes, which the legislative considers does not constitute undue harm.”

The initial ruling by the Western Cape High court still left the legality of it in question, but this ruling now by the constitutional court makes it very clear that it’ll soon be perfectly legal to use marijuana at home.

And honestly? That’s a good thing. By decriminalising weed, it becomes possible for it to become completely legal – which could see job creation, taxation, regulation and other benefits.

Last Updated: September 18, 2018

144 Comments

  1. G8crasha

    September 18, 2018 at 12:25

    How this will affect South African society is yet to be seen. Those that use it carefully and wisely do not pose much of a threat, but considering the recent crime stats (murder, rape, abuse, assault, etc.), I fear we might see quite the jump in these figures within the next two years – especially as it relates to children! That’s what I fear the most!

    Reply

  2. Original Heretic

    September 18, 2018 at 10:43

    Fucking awesome news!
    Sha-da-da-da-da….da-da-daaaaaaa.

    Reply

  3. Allykhat

    September 18, 2018 at 10:49

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  4. For the Emperor!

    September 18, 2018 at 10:52

    It is sometimes seen as a gateway drug. But really, the only reason it can be seen like that, is because many people need to see a dealer to get it, and then that dealer could lace it with something extra or try to push something harder on you. This way, I believe many will not fall for that kak anymore.

    Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      September 18, 2018 at 10:53

      If you want a real gateway drug, have a look at cigarettes and alcohol.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 18, 2018 at 10:57

        Hear fucking hear.
        Those are actually dangerous and CAN kill you.

        If alcohol had never been discovered, and it was suddenly discovered today, it would be illegal tomorrow. It’s an extremely dangerous drug.

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          September 18, 2018 at 11:02

          Weed has killed. Poor guy was busy transporting compacted blocks of it. Had to break and the compacted blocks crushed him

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 11:03

            Ha!
            yeah, Joe Rogan in his one stand up show said that, “The only way weed can kill you is if a ton of it fell out of a plane and landed on you.”
            Fairly accurate.

      • Admiral Chief

        September 18, 2018 at 10:58

        The real gateway drug here is Lazygamer

        Reply

      • Pariah

        September 18, 2018 at 11:04

        I don’t agree on the cigarettes, but the alcohol? Yeah.

        Reply

    • BakedBagel

      September 18, 2018 at 11:44

      Lmao if you smoke good weed you wont need other drugs lmao

      People who go on to harder drugs have only smoked jut XD

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 18, 2018 at 11:49

        Good weed is the shit.

        Reply

  5. Dutch Matrix

    September 18, 2018 at 10:53

    Yes. Jobs all good and well. But how many stoned out of their gourds users will take to our roads?
    Just asking.

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      September 18, 2018 at 10:54

      How many drunk drivers are currently on the road?
      Those are FAR more dangerous.

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        September 18, 2018 at 10:55

        Are they? Again, just asking because I do not know.

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          September 18, 2018 at 10:57

          Yes, much more.
          A lot of the information people “know” about marijuana is just plain wrong.

          Reply

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 11:01

            I once tried driving after using too much oil for my chronic condition (was a noob/ first time user). Can safely say, I will NOT recommend driving if you HIGH haha

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 11:05

            No, definitely not good to drive when one is too high!

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 13:06

            Yep, the feeling was very weird. Much better at it now and only use in small doses 🙂

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 13:08

            Also depends on your tolerance level and your experience in handling it. And of course, the quality is also a big factor.
            Then there’s the different effects of the sativa vs the indica strains.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 13:11

            Yes, quite a few factors. Being a noob at using it was my introduction to getting high on the highway. Now, it just makes me chill. Don’t suggest the use of alcohol AND proper oil though, you get wonky pretty quickly…

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:12

            That’s a recipe for greenies. Worst throwing up you will ever do in your life!!!

            If you ARE going to drink and smoke, rather smoke first, then sip slowly at that drink. DO NOT FIRST GET DRUNK. That’s asking for self harm.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:13

            I don’t smoke it, just use a bit of oil. After doing so, having a few beers (3-4) does make you “drunk” a lot quicker, in my experience anyway 😀

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:14

            I’ve been smoking for years. It’s about the only thing that really helps me to sleep. Just a little bit helps for that. But it’s gotta be indica, sativa keeps one awake, mind racing!

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:18

            My brother has also been smoking it for a number of years now, he suggested I try the oil as I have never smoked in my life (puffing a few times while drunk does not count) 😉 And yes, having Insomnia / difficulty with sleeping, it really is a winner.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:22

            There are other way to “smoke” it. A vaporizer works very well. Cuts out all the “smoke”, so you just inhale the vapour. No lung damage, no sore throat, etc.

            There’s always the baking option, but (little known fact) eating it actually releases more of the paranoia inducing effect. And it lasts WAAAAAY longer.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:23

            That vaporizer sounds intriguing 😉 maybe down the line I will “invest” in such gadgetry. Love them gadgets.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:28

            Just be careful when you do decide to invest in that. You get the really el-cheapo ones that really don’t work that well.
            Plus, I gotta say, the high from it just isn’t quite as good….

          • Pariah

            September 18, 2018 at 16:16

            My brother in law smokes a joint before going out. He doesn’t buy any alcohol, and always gets the same, chilled, awesome effect that alcohol gives, and he can legally drive and do his thing without endangering anyone.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:17

            Used to do that, the smoking before going out thing.
            Saved plenty money, because, as you say, no money wasted on alcohol.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:18

            Alcohol kills your body, whether we accept the fact or not. I would love just growing some in the yard as a hobby, a micro farm lol (few trees), just for the heck of it and personal use of course 🙂

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:19

            Alcohol is poison. Science knows this. Why do you think they use it to disinfect things? because it kills everything.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:22

            Still, a cold beer in these summer days is hard to beat. Everything in moderation I suppose.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:23

            Exactly that. Moderation is key.
            In small doses, it’s fine, because our livers can cope with it (mostly).

          • Pariah

            September 18, 2018 at 16:24

            If I drink, I do it at home. Nowhere else. No matter if it’s just a beer, or half a bottle of Vodka, I’m not endangering anyone. Although the latter only happens maybe once a year, it’s still safer.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:27

            Uber works nicely, but one should never get intoxicated and get behind a wheel, that’s just being silly.

          • Pariah

            September 18, 2018 at 16:29

            Even with Uber I don’t really like it. If I’m out I rarely have more than 1 beer, and if I do it’s 2 max. Just don’t feel comfortable being drunk when I’m not at home.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:30

            Personally, I just don’t like being drunk. Much prefer a smoke to a drink. Better effect on my brain. I don’t lose control of myself when I’m smoked up. When drunk? I don’t like me when I’m drunk.

          • Pariah

            September 18, 2018 at 16:32

            Lol I’m a happy drunk, until I’ve reached a certain point (it’s already too many by this stage), then I’m just quiet. I like being tipsy.

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:32

            I am not allowed to drink gin anymore because of this, try and stick to light beers and only a few at a time now with the odd mixer or something 🙂

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:33

            My personal limit is 3 beers. Then I cut myself off.

          • Pariah

            September 18, 2018 at 16:35

            O_o Huh… For someone who doesn’t really drink I seem to have a high tolerance then. A 6-pack is a nice tipsy stage for me. it’s when I hit 10+ that I get proper drunk.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:36

            My god, after a 6 pack I’ll lying the floor…

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:36

            Its good to impose limits, that way you are always in control!

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:40

            Yup.

            I saw this awesome little comedy sketch recently. Can’t recall who it was or where I saw it.
            The guy starts talking about a gay guy buying him drinks, in an effort to get him drunk enough so that he’s easier to score with.
            The bartender points this out to the guy. His response? “Bring it on! In fact, I’d like to know just how many drinks it would take to turn me. That way, when I walk into a bar I can slap my card on the bar and tell the barman, ‘Yo, cut me off at 8.’ “

          • Viper_ZA

            September 18, 2018 at 16:30

            Yeah, Uber’ing with a few friends on a night out works out well, but I concur, it’s better getting sloshed at home, music jamming and of course, a braai 😉

          • Dutch Matrix

            September 18, 2018 at 12:58

            Hmmm… I see…

          • Geoffrey Tim

            September 18, 2018 at 13:06

            Here’s a very simplified look at the dangers of alcohol vs the dangers of marijuana: https://drugabuse.com/marijuana-vs-alcohol/

          • For the Emperor!

            September 18, 2018 at 16:07

            Spanks 🙂

        • Geoffrey Tim

          September 18, 2018 at 11:01

          Drunk drivers are far more dangerous. Alcohol is far more dangerous to society in general.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            September 18, 2018 at 11:02

            ^^^^^

        • Pariah

          September 18, 2018 at 11:02

          On weed, more likely the drivers will just be slow. Which, incidentally, is the opposite of what drunk drivers do, and again, the opposite of what causes the most deaths on our road annually.

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 11:04

            VERY slow.

        • Geoffrey Tim

          September 18, 2018 at 11:08

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 11:09

            Walk Hard!

    • For the Emperor!

      September 18, 2018 at 12:54

      They will need to make sure that the road rules cater for such instances

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      September 18, 2018 at 12:54

      Will be too lazy to drive

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        September 18, 2018 at 12:57

        I see…

        Reply

  6. Lord Chaos

    September 18, 2018 at 10:55

    Good, now put tax on it and win

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      September 18, 2018 at 11:01

      Yup, that would be the next logical step.
      It would create so many jobs.

      Reply

      • Lord Chaos

        September 18, 2018 at 11:02

        And not just jobs from the smoking, but from manufacturing as well

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          September 18, 2018 at 11:08

          Don’t forget the medical side. There are SO many applications for it there.

          Reply

  7. Gardos

    September 18, 2018 at 11:04

    Finally I can run my multinational drug distribution empire in peace

    Reply

  8. Gavin Mannion

    September 18, 2018 at 11:13

    Please say all the people wrongly arrested will be released and all criminal records expunged. SA has enough crime for police to focus on

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      September 18, 2018 at 11:14

      ^^^^ very good point to make.

      Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      September 18, 2018 at 11:17

      100% this. Most people jailed for it though, have been dabbling in super large quantities. that’s still illegal.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 18, 2018 at 11:21

        What you do you consider “super large”….?

        Reply

        • Gardos

          September 18, 2018 at 11:22

          Don’t worry, the 26kgs you have hiding under your bed isn’t considered super large. You’re safe for now.

          Reply

        • Pariah

          September 18, 2018 at 11:26

          I’d say it’s safe to assume that more than 1 large plant, or maybe a few small ones is too much. If there’s enough to distribute, then it’s too much. We’ll see what parliament eventually decides though.

          And super large = 100’s of KG’s usually. Plantations worth.

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 13:27

            Okay I’m safe…

        • miaau

          September 18, 2018 at 12:41

          If memory serves, from when I studied law in the late 90s, over 115g you are deemed a dealer or something. And the onus is then on you to prove you had that quantity for private use and not dealing.

          Which act? Cannot quite recall…. Controlled Substances or something

          Reply

          • Sageville

            September 18, 2018 at 13:46

            General rule of thumb of the streets is don’t get caught with more than 3 bankies…

            So the 115g thing is close…

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 14:14

            3 bankies = 115g?! Those are huge bankies…

          • Sageville

            September 21, 2018 at 09:34

            My Bankies normally have about 20g per bag.

            But cops generally aren’t pulling out scales, so 4 bags will generally get you in bigger trouble…

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 14:42

            Still safe. By a long margin.

    • Pariah

      September 18, 2018 at 11:21

      Yeah, like Darryn’s taste in food, for example…

      Reply

    • Gardos

      September 18, 2018 at 11:21

      Agree! I don’t know SA’s record on this but I know the US is terrible in this regard. Perhaps a contentious issue but I still think drug use should be decriminalised. Not to encourage it but rather to aid rehabilitation. People using drugs (not selling) have an issue that needs to be addressed and fixed rather than punished. Just my 2 cents.

      Reply

      • Gavin Mannion

        September 18, 2018 at 13:38

        I 100% agree that all drugs should be decriminalised. What someone wants to do with their own body is no business of the government.

        Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 18, 2018 at 13:57

        I wouldn’t say “using”, but rather “abusing”. Most drugs, if done in moderation, are fine. It’s when one starts going overboard that shit goes south.

        Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 18, 2018 at 14:04

        The US is terrible in that regard. Their “war on drugs” has cost countless lives and ruined far more.
        The UK is also quite terrible. Marijuana is considered illegal there, no matter what reason you’re using it for. Their government stance is that it has no beneficial use at all, not even medical (despite a SHIT load of evidence).
        Yet they are the largest supplied of medical marijuana to Europe.

        Reply

  9. Sageville

    September 18, 2018 at 11:21

  10. Francois Knoetze

    September 18, 2018 at 11:30

    Woohoo!! Now I can travel with my bloody cannabis oil!

    Reply

  11. Kromas

    September 18, 2018 at 11:34

    Is is possible to make a weed based petroleum oil? If so then hell yeah otherwise meh.

    Reply

  12. Guz

    September 18, 2018 at 11:43

    Lol my whats app groups are blowing up, the ous are super happy XD

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      September 18, 2018 at 11:50

      One of me mates wants to build a greenhouse now.

      Reply

      • Guz

        September 18, 2018 at 12:02

        Have a friend how owns a hydroponics shop(a legit one for veggies ect) and hes super stoked, hes gonna make a fortune selling all that equipment

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          September 18, 2018 at 13:30

          It always amazes me that so many green smokers think that if something is grown via hydroponics, it’s automatically more potent.
          There are various other factors involved, dammit!

          But yeah, your buddy is going to make some good moola soon. Though, to be honest, setting up your very own hydro growth area isn’t all that difficult and can be quite cheap.

          Reply

          • Guz

            September 18, 2018 at 13:33

            Its all in how you grow it, what you ‘feed’ it nutrient wise and what quality seeds you use

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 13:36

            The seeds are very important. The guys who grow the really good stuff, they guard those with their lives. Even when you buy from them, they usually make VERY sure that there are no seeds in the product.
            The guys who sell jut just don’t care.

    • Pariah

      September 18, 2018 at 11:53

      I’ve actually already asked my sister on tips. Her and her husband grow their own, have for years.

      Reply

      • Guz

        September 18, 2018 at 12:04

        Ask them for one or two seedlings(already sprouted) and try them in your garden just to check it out, eg how it grows, how to care for it ect

        Reply

        • Pariah

          September 18, 2018 at 12:14

          Nah I’m getting the seeds delivered to me and I’ll get the stuff I need then. 😉

          Reply

  13. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    September 18, 2018 at 12:07

    Also everybody will be able to just be normal and chill the fuck out instead of getting offended at everything.

    Reply

    • Guz

      September 18, 2018 at 12:08

      Might actually have a laugh when somone makes a joke….

      Reply

      • Pariah

        September 18, 2018 at 12:13

        Oh shit, no! The horror! 😉

        Reply

  14. Ghost In The Rift

    September 18, 2018 at 12:16

    Nice…Happy for you SA boytjies…..now for Namibia to catch up and ill be blazing the streets…well in front of my PC anyway.

    Reply

  15. G8crasha

    September 18, 2018 at 12:25

    How this will affect South African society is yet to be seen. Those that use it carefully and wisely do not pose much of a threat, but considering the recent crime stats (murder, rape, abuse, assault, etc.), I fear we might see quite the jump in these figures within the next two years – especially as it relates to children! That’s what I fear the most!

    Reply

    • HvR

      September 18, 2018 at 13:04

      Yes because SAPS wasting their time chasing high school daggakoppe stopped serious crimes from happening.

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      September 18, 2018 at 13:41

      Not sure why you think this as every country that has legalised marijuana has seen a drop in violent and opportunistic crime. So if you fear crime then this is good news for you,

      Reply

      • G8crasha

        September 18, 2018 at 14:28

        Marijuana is a psychoactive drug: Def: a chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior. If we have so much rape, murder, abuse and assault in South Africa, often within the immediate family environment, how much more so could this become if people start consuming excessive quantities of marijuana, which by its very definition of being a psychoactive drug, alters ones mind. Personally, I will only feel comfortable about this decision when proper laws are instituted to try and limit abuse of the drug, albeit obviously, if the SAPS can actually enforce these laws, which is a debate for another day!

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          September 18, 2018 at 14:47

          It is widely known that marijuana is a relaxant though. If you are worried about an increase in crime from people overdosing on drugs then ban alcohol. That’s the real killer world wide.

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 14:50

            Yes, alcohol, ban that. Not cannabis.

          • Gavin Mannion

            September 18, 2018 at 16:51

            you touch my beer I’ll cut you…

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 16:52

            Smoke a J with me, we’ll be fine then.

          • G8crasha

            September 18, 2018 at 14:52

            Fair enough, but the argument is excessive consumption. People take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication which also affects their psychological capacity, but they are considered safe in correct dosages, and they haven’t lead to an increase in crimes obviously. Likewise, I am not debating that responsible consumption of marijuana will lead to problems. Excessive consumption could potentially lead to problems, aside from the obvious health risks associated with it, like nicotine.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 14:55

            Anti-depressants and the like, those are synthetic drugs and very often they have terrible side effects. Getting OFF anti-depros is usually the most difficult part. They make people feel terrible.

            Nah dude, your argument here doesn’t fit with any information I’ve read or anything I’ve experienced.

          • Gavin Mannion

            September 18, 2018 at 14:59

            yeah gotta agree with heretic here. I know a fair amount of potheads and I’ve completely overdone it before but you can’t overdose on cannabis. People just get more chill, it’s nothing like any synthetic drugs.

            But the best way to convince you is let time pass by, you will be surprised at how much of what you think about it is complete garbage that was fed to us by the uneducated.

          • G8crasha

            September 18, 2018 at 15:06

            Fair enough. We’re simply debating here. You have your opinion and I have mine, as we are entitled to. I have no intention of causing bad blood here. Society is based on healthy debate, and that is what I like to consider this. We could debate until we are blue in the face as to who has the best argument, and I respect yours. So if I may, I’ll leave my argument here. Thanks Original Heretic.

        • Original Heretic

          September 18, 2018 at 14:49

          Are you seriously trying to imply that marijuana, a substance known to calm people down and induce intense relaxation, is going to fuel people to go on violent crime sprees?
          As the late, great Robin Williams said, “I never met me an angry pot smoker.”

          Reply

          • G8crasha

            September 18, 2018 at 15:01

            Please note: I speak of excessive consumption. Has anybody ever wondered why so many countries still consider it an illegal substance. Even its medicinal qualities still require further testing according to research. Technically, it is no longer illegal to consume it in the privacy of your home with the judgement today, but just like with so many other illegal activities that became legal, society needs time to adjust to change, and time will tell how South Africa (which last year was in the bottom 20 of the most dangerous countries in the world – https://businesstech.co.za/news/lifestyle/200044/south-africa-ranks-among-the-most-dangerous-countries-in-the-world-and-its-costing-us/) will adjust to this change. I’m simply playing devil’s advocate here.

          • Original Heretic

            September 18, 2018 at 15:06

            I have my days, weekends, when I personally have consumed excessive quantities. Back in the days when I was still young and single and had no responsibilities.
            I’ve had gaming weekend with my friends when then was always, ALWAYS at least two joints being passed around. We smoked so much, Willie Nelson would have been proud. Snoop Dogg would have been awed.
            The only things were were violent against was food.

            I’ve known guys who have been hard, HARD smokers for years. In fact, there’s a guy I’ve known for more than a decade who and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him NOT high.

            No violence, dude. None.

            There are VARIOUS reasons why it is illegal in many countries. If you do just a little bit of research, you’ll discover that almost all those reasons are total bullshit.

          • Gavin Mannion

            September 18, 2018 at 15:08

            interesting “entertainment” take on that actually. Check it out, it’s quite eye opening

        • Original Heretic

          September 18, 2018 at 14:52

          Did you know that humans have an endocannabinoid system? The cannabinoids in marijuana already exist in our bodies.
          In fact, they are actually PRODUCED by our bodies to relax us in times of stress.
          So, if you do go ahead and smoke a WHOLE LOT OF POT, you’re just going to get VERY relaxed.
          If someone goes out and commits violent crimes, they are NOT on marijuana.

          Reply

  16. HvR

    September 18, 2018 at 13:01

  17. Magoo

    September 18, 2018 at 14:52

  18. MOM Canada

    September 19, 2018 at 02:50

    Glad that South Africa has widened their perspective about marijuana use, too. Hope it would run smooth and sooner be fully legalized.

    Reply

  19. Craig "CrAiGiSh" Dodd

    September 19, 2018 at 09:18

    #420

    Reply

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