Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court on Tuesday gave Parliament 24 months to remedy defects in the law which criminalise the private cultivation and use of marijuana in South Africa.
The country's highest court confirmed an order by the high court in Cape Town declaring sections of the Drugs Act and Medicines Act "inconsistent with right to privacy entrenched in section 14 of the Constitution and, therefore, invalid to the extent that they make the use or possession of cannabis in private by an adult person for his or her own consumption in private a criminal offence".
This means South Africans could from Tuesday grow marijuana - more commonly known as dagga locally - in their backyard and smoke it for personal use.
Buying dagga remains illegal however.
"A purchaser of cannabis would be purchasing it from a dealer in cannabis. Therefore, if this Court were to confirm the order declaring invalid provisions that prohibit the purchase of cannabis, it would, in effect, be sanctioning dealing in cannabis. This the Court cannot do," the judgment read.