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Is Cannabis now legalised in South Africa?

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - July 2018

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As far as all things legal go, a trending topic of late is whether or not marijuana is finally legalised.

In sheer excitement, most people have taken to social media and posted a whole lot of garbage that has turned into second-rate truths and misunderstandings, which have actually lead to the arrests of certain individuals who believed that marijuana was in fact legal.

Cannabis is finally legalised in South Africa.

Cannabis is legal for private use in certain parts of the Cape.

People can legally grow one or two plants and use it recreationally in their private homes.

People are legally allowed to grow the plants and sell the oil for medical purposes.

Sound familiar?

Let’s clear up this misunderstanding.

Cannabis growth and/or the use of the plant are still illegal in South Africa. While the courts ruled that the use of cannabis by people in their private homes is now legal, the matter was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal where a final decision will be made.

The ruling has not come into effect and it is, therefore, still illegal in South Africa.

There have been many discussions and court proceedings that condone the cultivation and use for medical purposes and while many authorities and bodies have been involved in exploring the elements of legalising cannabis, the use and cultivation is still very much illegal, which includes the oil as it holds the active ingredient.

The ideology of legalising marijuana came about as a method to help the economy grow and to assist chronically ill individuals combat pain and better endure treatment with severe side-effects.

With the ruling in the Western Cape being a positive one, in favour of legalising cannabis, some individuals were arrested as they freely grew and smoked on their private properties, which they believed to be legally allowed. However, it must be understood that until the Supreme Court of Appeals make their ruling, cannabis, including the oil, is illegal and may get you arrested.

There are several factors that will need to be addressed and controlled should the final ruling be in favour of. One such factor is driving while under the influence of cannabis and how testing will be conducted at roadblocks and such, under whose control will growth and distribution fall and how will medical practitioners apply treatment to their practice.

If you would like to find out more about the legalities regarding this on-going matter, please contact our Lawyers Online department for assistance.

It is worth knowing that when an individual is arrested and charged he may practice his right to privacy as a defence.

072 847 6416 |

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