South Africa moves forward with the legalization of cannabis for personal use

South Africa moves forward with cannabis legalization

The South African National Assembly passed a bill legalizing the personal use of cannabis, an important step in the African nation after private consumption will be decriminalized in 2018 after a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

This initiative is being processed precisely from that ruling of 2018, after the previous year, in 2017, The Western Cape Town High Court ruled that Banning cannabis use by adults in their private homes is unconstitutional, regarding a case presented by the Rastafarian lawyer Garreth Prince and former Dagga Party leader, Jeremy Acton.

Prince and Acton argued that the ban on personal use of cannabis was discriminatory and outdated, that disproportionately targeted black and indigenous South Africans.

After that, in 2018, the Constitutional Court confirmed the ruling that forces the government to pass an appropriate bill before the 28 September 2024 to finalize the legislative reform process.

What does the project propose??

While several African countries have taken steps to legalize the cultivation of cannabis or medicinal cannabis, The measure would set a precedent for adult cannabis use on the continent, although in any case the reform measure has an important caveat, as reported BusinessLIVE, quoted by High Times.

Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Janho Engelbrecht, Regarding the initiative, he said adults will only be allowed to consume cannabis privately in their homes and sales will remain strictly prohibited if the measure is approved..

“This bill is about cannabis for private adult use. It is not allowed to buy or sell cannabis, because it is still a criminal activity with serious consequences. If you want to smoke it, you have to cultivate it, don't buy it”, said Engelbrecht..

But nevertheless, like many of the reform measures passed throughout the United States, The bill also provides for the expungement of criminal records of those convicted of possession, consumption or trafficking of cannabis based on the presumption.

Anyway, does not specify the quantities of cannabis plants and dried cannabis that a person could possess for private use, nor does it legalize cannabis for medical use or create a regulated commercial market..

After this advance in the National Assembly (Low camera), The project passed to the National Council of Provinces (High camera), a simile of our Senate, to continue with its legislative process for future approval.