South African court rules personal use of marijuana is not a criminal offence


(Photo: CGTN)

The constitutional court in South Africa on Tuesday delivered a judgment that private use of marijuana, locally referred to as dagga, is not a criminal offence.

“The right to privacy is not confined to a home or private dwelling. It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private space,” deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said on Tuesday.

“The judgment does not specify how many grams of cannabis can a person use or have in private.”

The Western Cape High Court also ordered that in the interim period, prosecutions for personal dagga possession as described in its judgment should be stayed.

Tuesday's ruling follows a judgment that the possession, cultivation and use of dagga for private use was allowed.

Activists have long held that a change in legislation can change the lives and improve the health of many. The protest is one of a series of marches around the world in support of the Global Cannabis Campaign.

Every year, thousands of South Africans march on the streets of Cape Town demanding a relaxation of drugs laws to allow medicinal and recreational use of cannabis.

Use of cannabis and medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity in some parts of the world to ease suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, and other serious conditions.