Court to rule on constitutionality of dagga use
Farren Collins | 2017-03-30 15:32:57.0
A marijuana plant. File photo
Image by: BLAIR GABLE
The High Court in Cape Town will on Friday hand down judgment on the application to have the prohibition of cannabis declared unconstitutional.
Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton was positive that the a full bench would grant the application‚ which came from pro-dagga parties and activist Gareth Prince‚ but expected the state to appeal the decision.
They wanted dagga users to have the same rights as those who use alcohol and tobacco‚ and argued that the state could not substantiate claims of harm to society or individuals.
“I don’t think we will get much said on the trading of it‚ but it will probably more emphasize our right to cultivate for our own private use‚” said Acton.
The Dagga Party plans to then lobby parliament to change legislation around the personal use of cannabis.
Acton said that his party “spit” on the proposed Medical Innovation Bill‚ which it believed would “steal” a “freely available resource” from people.
Thursday was the deadline for public comment on the bill‚ which was first proposed by the late IFP MP‚ Mario Ambrosini‚ and would regulate the growing of medical cannabis by issuing a permit for the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use.
“The entire dagga legalization movement of South Africa is condemning the Abrosini Bill‚” Acton said.
“We spit on it. We will not ever contract with it.”
Acton said that if passed‚ the new legislation would simply hand out licenses “to an elite few growers”‚ and would “give the resource to big pharmaceutical companies”.
“It makes us illegal in terms of growing our own medicine. People should have the free right to contract among each other on the supply and consumption of cannabis.”
The Medicines Control Council’s Joey Gouws said it was not in support of the bill‚ which she said was made redundant by the Medicines Act which already made provision for conditions the bill seeks.
“I don’t think that the bill allows for the medicinal use of cannabis that the act cannot address‚” Gouws said.
“What the bill also tries to make provision for is to allow for innovation research‚ [but] the Medicines Act already allows for any research to be conducted under the supervision of the MCC.”
– TMG Digital/The Times