Government wants private dagga use to remain illegal

The South African government has appealed a Cape Town High Court ruling that cultivating and using dagga (marijuana) in private should be legalised.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions and other government department filed papers this week, saying that none of the current legislation around dagga use should be changed or amended.

The High Court last month ruled that banning the personal use of dagga by adults in their homes was against the constitutional right to privacy. The court ordered that Parliament had 24 months to amend the current drug laws to bring them in line with the constitution.

The decision marked a success for long-time dagga advocates Jeremy Acton and Rastafarian Garreth Prince, who have famously argued for the legalisation since the turn of the millennium.

Acton said that they had expected the state to appeal the court order, and that the advocates now had a right to cross-appeal and even ask for more.

Civil and legal groups have noted that the court order did not suddenly make dagga use legal in the country, but rather indicated that current laws needed to change.

Dagga use remains illegal until the matter has been exhausted in the country’s courts, and a decision has been made, and the laws possibly changed.

Read: High court legalises marijuana for private use in South Africa

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Government wants private dagga use to remain illegal