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Major drop in dagga arrests following legalisation – SAPS

This was according to police management that briefed Parliament's police portfolio committee for the first time in the sixth Parliament.

FILE: Bags of dagga seized by police in Cape Town. Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - The easing of dagga possession laws has seen a drastic decline in the number of drug arrests.

This was according to police management that briefed Parliament's police portfolio committee for the first time in the sixth Parliament on Wednesday.

Parliament was briefed on the police's performance plan and various programmes.

Last year, the Constitutional Court ruled that the personal use of dagga is not a criminal offence.

The ruling followed a Western Cape High Court judgment that said the possession, cultivation and use of dagga for private use was allowed.

The police’s Leon Rabie said: “…And given the fact that a great portion or a big portion of our drug-related crime was dagga-related, we suddenly saw a significant drop in reported figures because we could no longer arrest those persons.”

Rabies said they would, however, continue their fight against serious drugs like cocaine and mandrax.

“As the South African Police Service, we will continue with reports on dealing with drugs but with the establishment of a new baseline moving forward.”

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