The ACDP leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe said he wanted Parliament to hold an urgent debate following the Constitutional Court’s ruling on cannabis. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane

Cape Town - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Rev Kenneth Meshoe said he wanted Parliament to hold an urgent debate following the Constitutional Court’s Tuesday ruling that it was legal to cultivate and consume cannabis for personal use.

“The ACDP and the majority of South Africans do not want dagga decriminalised and legalised for private use, given the high number of young people battling drug addiction. It's important for Parliament to make its position known as soon as possible,” Meshoe said.

“Parliament has to consult members of the public and determine whether this ruling is in the best interests of our people. This ruling contradicts the efforts of government and the South African society to deal with drug addiction and crime in our country. Just last week the damning statistics showed an increase of 30 981 in drug-related crime, up from 292,388 to 323,369, and this week, there is a Constitutional Court ruling that would see efforts to decrease that number hindered.” 

The Constitutional Court upheld a ruling by Western Cape High Court Judge Dennis Davis that it was legal for South Africans to grow dagga for personal use.

"There are doctors who say it impairs people's mental abilities. The danger of drugs such as Nyaope, of which Dagga is the main ingredient, has devastated homes. We have noticed over the years that children have stolen everything their parents have owned to feed this addiction,” he said.

"Davis’ order had confined the declaration of invalidity to private adult use at home, while the Constitutional Court did not limit it to use at home. It did not specify a limit on the amount of dagga a person may have in their possession, leaving this for parliament to decide." 

African News Agency (ANA)