South Africa, first African country to legalize marijuana for domestic use
The High Court concludes that banning cannabis at home is a violation of the right to privacy and dignity
South Africa has become a reference in the legalization of cannabis, becoming the first African country to decriminalize its private use. In a landmark ruling, the High Court has concluded that banning the use of marijuana – more commonly known as dagga in the country – to adults in their private homes is a violation.
The decision came at the end of March this year and once the new measure comes into force, the cultivation, possession and personal use of cannabis in the private domicile will be allowed.
The High Court also urges the South African parliament to amend the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act. It should be noted that the Constitutional Court has to confirm the ruling before the parliament can act and that the state could also appeal the ruling.
These legal changes are not synonymous with total freedom in the use of marijuana in South Africa, but are a step towards full legalization.
In any case, the decision responds, in part, to the demands of marijuana activists, that in South Africa have united in a political movement called the Dagga Party.