The ground-breaking ruling now allows for the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana by adults in their homes.
Jeremy Acton, a long time marijuana advocate and leader of the Dagga Party, said that while he was delighted by the ruling, there was still a long way to go before commercial production was legalised.
“The decriminalisation of dagga will allow people to possess, cultivate and enjoy dagga in the privacy of their homes. It will also affect the Medicines Control Council’s proposals for the legalisation of the production of medicinal marijuana, which we are against, since we want marijuana production to be completely legalised, whether it is aimed at the medicinal, industrial or recreational market,” Acton told Farmer’s Weekly.
According to the Medicines Control Council, it had not yet had time to study the verdict, and was therefore unable to comment on how the verdict would affect its draft guidelines for the growing of medicinal cannabis.
Griffith Molewa, manager of law enforcement for the Department of Health, said that the deadline for commentary on the draft guidelines was today: “The Department will use feedback from the public to adapt the guide, but will now also have to study the court’s verdict to determine how it will influence production. The verdict might change everything.”
The High Court also ruled that Parliament had to amend sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act, to accommodate the ruling.