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Dagga users celebrate following ConCourt ruling on private use

There was a sense of relief and jubilation as Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo read out the judgment decriminalising the use of dagga and the cultivation of the plant for the personal use of adults.

Rastafarians and other protesters gather outside the South African Constitutional Court before the ruling on the private use marijuana is delivered. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Dagga users, traditional healers and Rastafarians are celebrating after the Constitutional Court decriminalised the personal consumption and cultivation of cannabis by adults in private spaces.

In the unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court redefined a previous ruling by the Western Cape High Court.

It found adults may legally use the plant in private spaces which include homes and vehicles.

There was a sense of relief and jubilation as Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo read out the judgment decriminalising the use of dagga and the cultivation of the plant for the personal use of adults.

WATCH: ConCourt greenlights the green

Users say they're delighted with Tuesday’s ruling.

Phepsile Maseko from the Traditional Healers Organisation says health practitioners can now start cultivating quality dagga to be used by patients.

“We are going to be able to measure properly; so that we are able to measure for young people and we are able to measure also for adults."

Mirishin Schutte from Abis Inc said practitioners are protected by a Section 21 certificate, which classifies them as traditional healers.

“We’re not worried about us, we’re just happy that our patients can happily grow their medicine at home and start making their own medicine because you can; you can make your own medicine in your own house.”

The judgment, however, points out that police still have the right to arrest those dealing in dagga cannabis or using it in the presence of children.

Meanwhile, Rastafarian lawyer Garreth Prince says it was high time for the decriminalisation of cannabis as the same sections of the law don't apply to the use of alcohol and tobacco.

Prince says government has double standards when it comes to the use of tobacco.

“Police don’t prosecute those types of crimes because tobacco forms part of the culture of millions of people in this country. Cannabis also forms part of the culture of millions of people in this country, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been recognised or given the same status as tobacco, which is atrocious.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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