Parliament has 24 months to amend laws that made it possible for cops to arrest people smoking and cultivating dagga in private homes.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has upheld a previous ruling by Western Cape high court that it was legal for South Africans to have zol for personal use.
Justice minister Michael Masutha had gone to the Constitutional Court to appeal the Western Cape high court ruling.
But Justice Zondo on Tuesday dismissed Masutha’s application and said that certain sections of the legislation covering the use of cannabis were unconstitutional.
This means that “no adult will be arrested for being in possession of dagga for personal use in South Africa”.
“I am of the view that the prohibition of the performance of any activity in connection with the cultivation of cannabis by an adult in private for his or her personal consumption in private is inconsistent with the right to privacy entrenched in the Constitution and is constitutionally invalid,” said Zondo in his ruling.
There were ululations inside and outside court after Zondo finished reading the landmark judgment.
Now Zondo wants Parliament to amend all laws that banned and made it possible for cops to arrest those using marijuana for personal use.
He also wants Parliament in the next 24 months to determine on the number of grams an individual will be allowed to have once the laws are repealed.
Parliament now has 24 months to repeal laws that banned smoking and cultivation of dagga in private homes. Zondo also left it to Parliament to stipulate the number of grams that one can possess in their private home. But the ruling doesn’t want want the sale of zol legalised.
It is the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act that was being declared invalid and unconstitutional by the Western Cape high court and which Zondo upheld.
The March 2018 application to the Western Cape high court was brought by a rastafarian group.
The group argued that the arrest of the people using dagga for personal use was a violation of their right to equality, dignity, and freedom of religion.
(edited by MLM, with IOL)
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