The Cape Town High Court will hand down judgment on the application to have the prohibition of dagga declared unconstitutional today.
Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton was positive that the full bench would grant the application, but expected the state to appeal against it.
The application came from pro-dagga parties, lobbyists and activist Gareth Prince.
They want dagga users to have the same rights as alcohol and tobacco users‚ and argued that the state could not substantiate claims of harm to society or individuals.
“I don’t think we will get much said on the trading of it‚ but it will probably more emphasise our right to cultivate dagga for personal use‚” Acton said.
The Dagga Party will then lobby parliament to change laws on the personal use of dagga.
Acton said his party rejected the proposed Medical Innovation Bill‚ which it believed would steal a freely available resource from people.
Yesterday was the deadline for public comment on the bill – first proposed by IFP MP Mario Ambrosini before his death in 2014 – which would regulate the growing of medical dagga by issuing a permit for the controlled cultivation of it for medicinal use.
“The entire dagga legalisation movement is condemning the Abrosini Bill‚” Acton said. “We spit on it. We will not ever contract with it.” Acton said if passed‚ the new law would simply give licences to an elite few growers‚ and would give the resource to big pharmaceutical companies.
“It makes us illegal in terms of growing our own medicine. People should have the free right to contract among each other on the supply and consumption of cannabis.”
The Medicines Control Council’s Joey Gouws said the body was not in support of the bill. It was made redundant by the Medicines Act, which made provision for conditions the bill sought, she said.
“I don’t think the proposed bill allows for the medicinal use of cannabis that the act cannot address‚” Gouws said.
“What the bill also tries to make provision for is to allow for innovation research‚ [but] the Medicines Act already allows for any research to be conducted under the supervision of the Medical Control Council.” – TMG Digital/The Times