South Africa’s top court will rule Tuesday on whether private cannabis use should be legal, the climax of a case that has pitted officials against marijuana advocates and the judiciary.
A court in the Western Cape region ruled in March that a ban on cannabis use by adults at home was unconstitutional, effectively decriminalising it in the province that includes Cape Town.
But the justice, police, health and trade ministers are challenging the lower court’s ruling, arguing that “there is objective proof of the harmful effects of cannabis”, according to a Constitutional Court filing.
At the moment, possessing, growing or using marijuana — even in small quantities — can technically lead to jail time, a fine and a criminal record.
Three cannabis users facing prosecution for consuming the drug have argued to the Constitutional Court that the prohibition of cannabis “intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres”, breaching their constitutional rights.
The court’s judgement will be delivered from 0800 GMT.
Previous court hearings on the emotive issue have drawn protests by those opposed to legalising cannabis, as well as by those in favour of decriminalisation.
more recommended stories
Malema warns Ramaphosa he’ll be an ‘enemy of the people’ if Eskom is privatised
Hands off Eskom. That was the.
Explained: Why Eskom is in so big trouble
Eskom is by far the largest.
Sanef condemns Ndabeni-Abrahams ‘muzzling of journalists’ at ANC manifesto launch
Johannesburg – The South African National.
CATCH IT LIVE: President Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address
All eyes will be on President.