The landmark Western Cape High Court’s order regarding the private use of dagga applies only to home use and cultivation, cautioned Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton according to a report in News24.
“It’s about privacy in your own home, it’s not about on the streets,” said Acton while a jubilant crowd of Rastafarians swirled around him following a judgment that gave users some wiggle room relating to criminal charges for private possession or use of the plant.
With a police van parked nearby, Acton said that laws for use outside the home would still have to be determined in a parliamentary process, but Friday’s judgment was welcomed as a kick-start of the political processes needed for change.
Acton, who is leader of the Dagga Party, and Rastafarian Garreth Prince had argued their own case in the court in December in front of judges Dennis Davis, Nolwazi Boqwana and Vincent Saldhanha.
Saldhanha had coincidentally represented Prince after his arrest for dagga while still a law student in 1989.
“What this means is that South Africans can use cannabis in their homes,” said Prince.
Acton said that he is due in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday over a dagga charge, and he would immediately alert the magistrate to the High Court’s judgment. He said he feels confident that that would be the end of the matter.
Comment from the National Prosecuting Authority was not immediately available to explain what would happen to pending cases, but Acton and Prince have been helping people get a stay of prosecution pending Friday’s judgment.
Acton said he had not read the full judgment yet, but at first glance, the order does not limit the quantity that can be legally cultivated at home, and does not deal with potential commercial use.
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