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Dagga law change up to Concourt scrutiny

Western Cape
Cape Town - The Constitutional Court has to confirm the Western Cape High Court judgment on dagga and only then will Parliament act on rectifying legislation or introducing a new bill on the matter, Parliament's spokesperson Molapo Mothapo said this week.

He was responding to last week’s judgment that sections of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act which prohibit the possession, cultivation, transportation and distribution of dagga were inconsistent with the constitution and invalid.

The court gave Parliament 24 months to align the relevant legislation with the constitution.

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File photo: The judgment brought mixed reaction last week with some hailing the high court.

Mothapo said there could be appeals against the judgment and the Concourt is yet to confirm the judgment.

“There is still a long way to go before Parliament can do anything about it,” he said.

The judgment brought mixed reaction last week with some hailing the high court. Mothapo said once litigation was finalised and the Concourt confirmed the judgment, then Parliament would rectify the defects identified in the laws.

He said Parliament could opt to deal with the defects in terms of the Medical Innovation Bill, currently before it.

The bill was first introduced by former IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, an advocate of the decriminalisation of dagga use for medicinal purposes. He died of lung cancer in 2014.

Rastafarian Garreth Prince brought the matter to the High Court. He was joined in the application by several other applicants including Jeremy Acton of the Dagga Party.

This week it was not clear whether the Department of Health and the Medicines Control Council would appeal the judgment.

Weekend Argus

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