Constitutional Court reserves judgement in “dagga case”

Constitutional Court reserves judgement in “dagga case”

The Constitutional Court has reserved judgement in the so-called “dagga case” and says it will make a ruling soon. The highest court in the land heard from Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke aka the dagga couple and a matter which was referred from the Western Cape High Court.

Stobbs and Clarke have been campaigning for years to have marijuana legalised in South Africa. The Western Cape High Court ruled earlier this year that the cultivation and private use for adult South Africans should be legalised.

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The State launched an appeal against the ruling which instructed parliament to make amendments to the relevant laws within two years. The State yesterday asked the Constitutional Court to return the matter to the High Court so that its merits could be debated thoroughly learned from Eyewitness News that the State’s counsel Advocate Thomas Bokaba argued that the case involved more than just privacy laws and these matters should be put up for debate in the High Court.

Bokaba argued that the ruling was short-sighted and would place additional burdens on the already overloaded health system. He added that it was known that marijuana use impacted negatively on families, communities and the country as a whole.

Rastafarian Gareth Prince gave a different opinion and said that the matter should be returned to the High Court so a general order in favour of legalisation could be issued.

Prince cited an instance where he was arrested in the presence of his family which he says was deeply humiliating and he argues that his only crime was that of growing a plant.

Stobbs and Clarke argued that the ban on marijuana was irrational because the sale of alcohol which according to them and their team of experts is more harmful was legal.

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