Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs say "the war is to get complete legalisation, so all citizens can benefit economically". Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - The “Dagga Couple” have set their sights on a mass class action against the state, to free those who have criminal records for the possession of dagga.

This follows the Constitutional Court’s landmark judgment on Tuesday declaring the private use and cultivation of dagga legal.

Myrtle Clarke and Jules Stobbs are in the process of creating a database to bring the class action in future. Clarke told the Cape Times that their war was far from over.

“We will keep fighting for everybody. The battle has been won, the war is not over. The war is to get complete legalisation, so all citizens can benefit economically,” she said.

“This ruling also doesn’t deal with criminal records, people in prison or stay of prosecution cases that have been put on hold pending this outcome.”

Clarke said the worst-affected were young people looking for jobs, possibly wanting to travel.

Advocate Rodney de Kock, the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, said: “The ruling is prospective, which means it does not apply to cases that were in the criminal justice system already. 

"At the time of the decision of the Western Cape High Court, a decision was taken not to enrol those cases which met the qualifying criteria – that is a small amount of cannabis for personal private consumption,” he said.

He said prosecutors would exercise their discretion and allow those cases that were provisionally withdrawn pending the Concourt decision to be closed without further prosecution.

“With regard to applications for records to be expunged if there are any such applications, each will be dealt with on its own merits,” De Kock said.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Acton from the Dagga Party said if they attained enough power in the 2019 elections, “we will wipe all records” in this regard.

“We want to write the law. We want for ourselves, legalising the plant completely, but it has to happen in Parliament,” said Acton.

“The ruling is great. It allows people to get access to this medicine, it creates a private community-based economy and keeps it away from corporations. We have to get to Parliament so it cannot be sold out to corporates.”

The couple called on all those affected to submit their details to www.Fieldsofgreenforall.org.za

The contact form can be found on their “Jointheq” tab.

Cape Times