Is dagga legal in South Africa, 18 September 2018?

On Sunday Jeremy Acton posted a post on Facebook that soon had the South African cannabis network a buzz. Since then a lot has transpired, but what we do know is that as of 18 September 2018 the South African Constitutional court has ruled that Personal Use and cultivation of dagga is now legal in South Africa. So is dagga legal in South Africa in 2018?

It started simply with Jeremy’s Facebook post letting South Africans know that the ruling was going to be delivered in the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday 18 September 2018:

“Dagga Culture HEADS UP!!! JUDGEMENT [sic] DAY IS UPON US!!!

The WC Dagga Judgment Case 108/17 CCT is to be handed down Tuesday 18th September 2018, 10h00.

This afternoon we have received an email from the Constitutional Court, with instruction to appear for the handing down of the Constitutional Court judgment in the WC Constitutional Dagga challenge.

The state failed in its appeal against the Western Cape judgment. Read here my final prayer to the Constitutional Court in my cross appeal [sic] to the state’s appeal. I EXPECT THIS TO BE FULLY JUDGED.

Please max the turnout of our Culture for the day at the Constitutional Court.”

Cannabis decriminalized in South Africa for personal use

This morning the state’s appeal to the Western Cape High Court Ruling that cannabis should be legalized for personal use, was denied. The highest (no pun intended) court in the land has handed down a decision pertaining the legality of cannabis in South Africa. Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo delivered the judgment to an obviously happy and relieved public audience inside the ConCourt.

Is dagga legal in South Africa in 2018?

Dagga has been decriminalized for personal use and cultivation in South Africa, meaning that you can legally possess an amount of cannabis for personal use. You can also grow your own cannabis in South Africa on your own private property. There has been no indication given the quantities an adult can possess or cultivate for personal use, but that is now up to parliament to decide within the next 24 months.

The official status of dagga in South Africa is now “decriminalized”. But selling, dealing or using it outside of your own private property remains an illegal practice. This is obviously creating a massive grey area as to where a person should obtain products like cannabis oil, or the seeds to grow dagga in South Africa since it is still illegal to sell dagga.

Full Cannabis legalization is coming to South Africa

This is a big step in the right direction for South Africa. That being said there is still a lot of work to be done around completely legalizing cannabis in South Africa. As we have seen with examples like the Netherlands, Canada, and Portugal the changing of laws is an arduous process that takes time. Creating grey areas around the trad of cannabis often happens as laws are changed and adjusted, but we are yet to see what the future holds. The circus that is South African parliament has fucked up some big issues over the past 24 years. For now, you can spark up in your home and celebrate that you live in a country that is at least moving towards answering the question “Is dagga legal in South Africa?” with a very positive and uplifting “YES!”.

Thank you to the Dagga Couple, Jeremy Acton and organizations like Fields of Green for All for making this day possible.

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