‘Lots to do’ after ruling on dagga

While it is a step in the right direction to have dagga legalised for household use, the Dagga Party says a lot still needs to be done to clear up the confusion in South Africa.

Last month, the Western Cape High Court handed down a landmark ruling where the prohibition of dagga was declared unconstitutional.

Pro-dagga parties, lobbyists and activists approached the court in 2013 and, on March 31, the court ruled in their favour.

Judges Dennis Davis, Vincent Saldanha and Nolwazi Boqwana found that those against it, mostly various government departments, had failed to justify the limitation of the right to private use of dagga.

However, the judges said, the ruling should not be construed as meaning that the justice system wished in any way to understate the importance of curbing drug trafficking and the socially destructive activities of drug dealers.

“The evidence suggests the blunt instrument of the criminal law, as used in the impugned legislation, is disproportionate to the harms that the legislation seeks to curb insofar as the personal use and consumption of cannabis is concerned,” part of the judgment read.

Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton said yesterday the judgment had opened doors.

“A lot of work needs to be done. We would like to see dagga contribute to the economy and tourism as well,” Acton said.

“Moderate use of it helped prevent arthritis, asthma, dementia and many other ailments too.

“There are lots of medicinal benefits,” he said.

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