A draft Bill providing for the private use and cultivation of cannabis has come under fire at Parliament. An EWN report notes that Parliament’s Justice Committee is hosting public hearings on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill.
The Bill is necessary after the Western Cape High Court in 2017 ruled sections of the Drugs Act and Drug Trafficking Act unconstitutional, effectively allowing adults to use and grow the plant for personal use in the privacy of their own homes. The order was confirmed by the Constitutional Court and Parliament has to meet a deadline to pass the new legislation.
Jeremy Acton was a plaintiff in the Western Cape High Court case that effectively decriminalised the use of cannabis by adults for private purposes. Now the pro-marijuana lobbyist said the draft Bill would unreasonably limit the rights he has enjoyed since the court’s ruling.
Rastafarian lawyer Gareth Prince, the chair of the Cannabis Development Council of SA, has been fighting the criminalisation of marijuana since 1989. He said the draft Bill was fragmented and not aligned with the Cannabis Master Plan being developed by the government.
“It continues to use racist, outdated and unscientific arguments to hold that cannabis is part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution – cannabis, frankly, represents the most realistic chance that SA has of empowering its twelve million unemployed people and lifting them up from the quagmire of poverty, joblessness and desperation,” he said.
See more from MedicalBrief archives: