In a stunning turn of events, the Western Cape High Court has legalised the use if marijuana/dagga/weed for private use.

The Court declared that “it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes.” (Business Tech)

The ruling has allowed for the:

  • Possession
  • Cultivation
  • Use of dagga

At home and for private use. This is, of course, only relevant for adults.

Long-time dagga advocates, Jeremy Acton and Garreth Prince, were the individuals who applied to the High Court to declare certain sections of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act to be unconstitutional in December 13th and 14th of last year.

The pair managed to successfully argue that prohibition of marijuana use was “unfair, discriminatory, outdated, and applied disproportionately to black users.” (News24)

With this decriminalisation, the court has ruled that Parliament change contravening sections of the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as the Medicines Control Act. This must take place within 24 months of the ruling.

This comes as a victory for many activists and lobbyists who have dedicated much of their lives to legalising the plant. Not only does it come as a victory for medical marijuana advocates, who had something akin to victory earlier this year, but for all freedom-loving South Africa – regardless if they partake or not.

While regulations, government strategies and other nuances are still vague at this moment, it is a relief to see at least some civil liberties being acknowledged in this country. Going forward, we just hope that state interference does not turn the industry into a draconian mess, akin to prohibition.

Hopefully, regulations will be minimal, allowing the South African economy to fully exploit the now legalised substance – enriching tourism and other industries. This will not be possible with the current trajectory of regulations in this country, unfortunately – but one can hope.

Nicholas is a co-founder and Marketing and Technical Director at the Rational Standard. He is a Council Member of the Institute for Race Relations as well as the Regional Coordinator for African Students For Liberty. Nicholas has written two science fiction novels. He is currently studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Cape Town.