Govt now wants people to buy Zol from a pharmacist, using a doctor’s letter

Stricter regulations of the herb have now been introduced.


The South African government has moved to make the laws governing the use of Zol even more stricter now, announcing that people will have to have a doctor’s letter. 

This is contained in a government gazette published on 23 May 2019 making updates on the use of drugs. 

The notice is being made by the department of health and wants those who want to use the plant to do so once they are in possession of a doctor’s letter. They say the herb falls under dangerous drugs like cocaine. 

On 19 September 2018, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo of the Constitutional Court upheld a ruling by the Western Cape high court that it was legal for South Africans to have Zol for personal use.

Then justice minister Michael Masutha had gone to the Constitutional Court to appeal the Western Cape high court ruling.

But Justice Zondo dismissed Masutha’s application and said that certain sections of the law covering the use of zol in the country were not constitutional.

Zondo said the ruling meant 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 last year ruling.

He then gave Parliament until September 2020 to fix the laws and make Zol legal for personal use. 

But government believes certain parts of the plant make it fall in the category of dangerous drugs like cocaine.

Previously the government classified dagga as a Schedule 7 substance, meaning that it is “illegal to cultivate, analyse, possess, research, use, sell or supply without authorisation from the Department of Health”.

The department has now moved the herb to be Schedule 4, meaning you need a prescription from a doctor, dentist or allied health professional, which you then take to a pharmacy.

This requires it be explained to you how to use the herb and for how long. 

(edited by MLM) 

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