The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, tabled in parliament on 1 September, provides clarity around the growing and private use of cannabis in South Africa.
In an analysis of the bill, Brett Pollack of specialised legal service Legalese Solutions, said that the legislation prescribes the quantities and modalities in which an adult can:
- Possess seeds and seedlings;
- Cultivate plants in a private place;
- Possess bud in a private place;
- Privately possess (including transporting) bud or plants in a public place;
- Consume in a private place;
- Without any compensation give seeds and seedlings, plants and bud to another adult.
Pollack said that in its current form the bill is ‘far from perfect’ as it permits and prohibits arguably arbitrary quantities, and creates some curious offences with harsh sentences that would make it difficult for many to exercise their constitutional, privacy-based cannabis rights.
He said that this could further perpetuate and even deepen socio-criminal stigmas against already marginalised, cannabis-using communities.