“Scores of THO members from around Gauteng province and the Rastafarian community came to the Constitutional Court on September 18 to listen to Deputy Chief Judge Zondo handing down judgement on the use of dagga. When the judgement was handed down the entire court was in jubilation. We got super excited because the court ruled that;
1. The criminalisation of private use and cultivation of dagga is unconstitutional;
2. Adults are now free to handle dagga for healing and recreational purposes including even growing it for use in their homes. However, public smoking and commercial activities are prohibited.
3. The Constitution Court confirmed that the 2017 Western Cape high court judgement by Judge Dennis Davis that found the ban on dagga use at home was unconstitutional and therefore, against the right to privacy.
This was a case supported by the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO), brought to court by Garreth Prince, Jeremy Acton and Jonathan Ruben. Interestingly, many government departments including health, south African police services and social development were opposed to dagga being used privately but were again proven unconstitutional and inconsistent by the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court accepted medical studies from applicants lawyers which showed that alcohol caused more harm than dagga and that there is little data to show that banning of dagga would reduce harmful use.
Parliament was given 2 years to amend all racist, apartheid laws that prohibits private use of dagga. Court granted interim relief that allows personal use at private spaces such as home and Healers clinics.
We will meet with the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa to discuss how this use will be regulated so that children and families are not directly affected by negligence
Educate Healers on how they will have to implement and action the court judgement to benefit patients
Host and sign partnerships with key stakeholders such as the SAPS to monitor actions of members and people who will be involved at community level
Let us refrain from violating people’s right to equality, dignity and freedom of religion. No one, not even your local authority or pastor holds such rights against you. When confronted with such a situation just rise above it and hold people against it, we will support you all the way.
On this note, we wish you a blessed African New Year this September 23 and a fantastic Heritage month. What a great way to enter an African New Year.”