A dagga plant. File picture: Chris Wattie/Reuters
Durban - South Africa’s highest court on Tuesday allowed the private use of cannabis, upholding a lower court’s ruling that found the criminalisation was unconstitutional.

Activists, including Rastafarians and traditional healers, welcomed the ruling but groups from the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths were critical.

Rafick Mohammed, secretary of Jamiatul Ulama, an organisation of Muslim theologians in KZN, said the legalisation of mind-altering drugs was a poor reflection on any society that considers itself civilised.

ACDP president Reverend Kenneth Meshoe called for an urgent debate in Parliament over the ruling.

Ashwin Trikamjee, president of the South African Maha Sabha, an umbrella organisation for Hindu bodies, said the question of whether one should smoke dagga has always been a personal decision. It has never been a religious issue.

“The Decision by the ConCourt now gives an option to persons on how they can indulge and in what circumstances and more importantly without the fear of criminal consequences.”

SA Jewish Board of Deputies’ David Saks, said muddling one’s mind for recreational purposes was hardly an appropriate way for a religious person to behave. 

Sunday Tribune