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IFP calls on Health Dept to expedite licences to grow dagga

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court ruled that lawmakers must amend sections of the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act.

Rastafarians smoke cannabis outside the South African Constitutional Court on 18 September 2018, before the ruling on the private use marijuana is delivered. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which has been at the forefront of decriminalising marijuana for medicinal purposes, has called on the Health Department to expedite the granting of licences to allow for the growing of the plant.

The next stage of the campaign to completely legalise dagga use will move to Parliament.

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court ruled that lawmakers must amend sections of the Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines Control Act.

WATCH: ConCourt greenlights the green

While the use and cultivation of dagga by adults in private spaces has been decriminalised, it’s still a criminal offense to deal in cannabis or to use it in public.

It was a day that late IFP MP Mario Ambrosini fought tooth and nail for in Parliament for the decriminalisation of marijuana. Suffering with cancer, he took his own life. His family asked the country to continue with his fight, which has finally materialised.

IFP Chief Whip in Parliament, Narend Singh, says it is important that this new ruling by the Constitutional Court is done in a responsible manner.

“Government should expeditiously look at the growing of hemp in South Africa which is currently being imported into the country.”

Those who have fought the legal battle for years say that the next two years will be spent on making sure that government imposes the right laws to regulate the industry while people are enjoying the use of the plant in private spaces.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)