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Have Your Say! Cannabis Bill Opened Up for Public Comment Again; Deadline is 11 May

The radically reworked Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been opened up for public comment until 11 May 2022. The new version of the Bill includes two new sections compared to the last time it was aired in Parliament in November last year.

 

The main amendments are:

  • A section that enables the future commercial trade in cannabis;
  • Special provisions for the Rastafarian, and other religious communities, including the right to smoke communally in public;
  • Exemptions for people with medical cannabis prescriptions;
  • An increase in the amount of plants a person may grow at home – up from four to eight;
  • Double the amount of cannabis an adult may possess in public to 200 grams;
  • A reduction in the prescribed jail time for people who grow too much cannabis at home from 15 years to 8 years.

 

See the Latest Version of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill here

 

The National Assembly approved of the amendments to the Bill on 31 March and it has now been opened for a second round of comment.

 

Have Your Say here via Dear South Africa which is co-ordinating public comment:

 

 

As of 29 April 2022, over 2 000 submissions had been made.

 

The Bill has been radically transformed since the Department of Trade and Industry became involved in the legislative drafting after the President’s SONA.. Senior State Law advisor Sarel Robbertse told Parliament in March this year the inclusion of the commercial trade clause would put South Africa in breach of its international legal obligations. Nonetheless, the clause was rammed in despite his protestations. 

 

The Bill basically enables future legislation to legalize cannabis without doing that now. 

 

The other surprise in the redrafted Bill is the definition of cannabis as C sativa with a THC level of 0,2%.  Hemp stakeholders have been unanimous in their call for the level to be set at 1% because South Africa’s climate causes a “spike” in THC levels.  Government’s own agronomists have shown that it is difficult to grow cannabis with any consistency at THC levels of below 0,2%, and the consensus is that the consumption of cannabis with THC levels of up to five percent does not cause any psychoactive reaction.

 

The new draft bill outlines possession rules for cannabis users at the home as well as for people who wish to cultivate the plant. It also introduces new offences, as well as provisions for people who previously received a criminal record for cannabis possession.

 

The draft bill states that an adult person may for personal use:

  • Possess the prescribed quantity of cannabis plant cultivation material;
  • Cultivate the prescribed quantity of cannabis plants in a private place;
  • Possess in private, the prescribed quantity of cannabis in a public place;
  • Possess the prescribed quantity of cannabis in a private place;
  • Possess in private, the prescribed quantity of cannabis plants in a public place.

 

The bill defines a ‘private place’ as any place, including a building, house, room, shed, hut, tent, mobile home, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the public does not have access as of right.

 

The draft legislation also states that an adult person may, without the exchange of remuneration provide to, or obtain from, another adult person, for personal use the prescribed quantity of:

  • Cannabis plant cultivation material;
  • Cannabis plants;
  • Cannabis.

 

The draft bill sets outs ‘prescribed quantities’ for both personal use and cultivation purposes.

 

For private use, the limits include:

  • Unlimited seeds and seedlings;
  • Eight flowering plants for those living alone, or eight for homes with two adults or more;
  • 600 grams of dried cannabis if you live alone, or 1.2 kilograms in homes with two or more adults;
  • 1.2 kilograms dried cannabis or cannabis equivalent per dwelling which is occupied by two or more adult persons.

 

The bill also allows for the possession of cannabis ‘in private’ in a public place, but this is limited to 200 grams.

 

The draft bill defines ‘in private’ as to keep, store, transport or be in control of cannabis or a cannabis plant, respectively, in a manner that conceals it from public view.

11 Responses

  1. There should be no limit on number of plants or quantity of cannabis an adult can possess, whether it be for medicinal or recreational use. No restrictions have been placed on alcohol or tobacco products.

  2. Weed should be made legal alcohol is a far more dangerous thing, weed has been helping me with my health for more than 12 years now

  3. Any limitation of cannabis use, cultivation and trade should never exceed that of alcohol and tobacco, which have been scientifically proven to be more harmful to health and well-being than cannabis. Cannabis should be traded and taxed in a similar manner to alcohol and any further restrictions are not only illogical, unscientific and tyrannical but a re a violation of our human rights to self-medicate and choose what we want to put into our bodies that causes no harm to society. Cannabis has huge economic potential and can lift millions out of poverty and revitalize the South African rural economy. I do not support any criminalization and punishment for any cannabis transgression and putting people in jail for growing and possessing too much cannabis is absurd and a violation of our human rights and dignity.

    1. “Cannabis has huge economic potential and can lift millions out of poverty and revitalize the South African rural economy.”

      That’s cute, except our government is a bunch of corrupt white-collar criminals and as such, the only economy that cannabis will impact in SA is the economy between government and politicians.

  4. I believe this is a golden opportunity to grow an industry which puts power in the hands of local suppliers and will create a lot of jobs. I support the ammendment to the cannabis bill and would like more freedom to decriminalize this God given right we should be allowed to explore and flourish business

  5. Scrap all licenses for growing cannabis. You are taking this industry away from the people who need help it the most and handling over to the elite and big pharmaceutical companies. We will not stand for this in any way. Licensing is nothing but another attempt by this corrupt government to steal money from the people. Only the elite and big companies can afford these utterly ridiculous licensing costs.

  6. Just make it legal
    Free trade, commercial, retail , personal and medical.
    Government will get their piece of the pie from Taxes and export licenses.

    This should not be regulated by government… They are way too corrupt and with cannibis they will only look to corrupt the industry.

    The cannabis industry should be open, free for all within SA… IF you are exporting then fine have permits and licenses but these too can not be at rediculous costs only aimed at those with money and connections.

    Further more… Once a before and after a bill is passed…

    SAPS should be trained and saps should not be allowed to use their own descretion when dealing with cannabis related “crimes”

    SAPS should have clear guidelines as to who can be arrested and what for in regards to cannabis.

    This way tax payer money is not wasted hy stupid Arrests that get thrown out by the courts.

  7. I think the thc levels must be increased from 2% to 15 to 25% because if you buy seeds that’s a nice strain they usually have alot more thc % than the 2% that was recomended

    1. Oh boy. There is a difference between agricultural hemp and the weed you grow to get goofed. You don’t buy (for example’s sake) Dutch Passion Durban Poison Seeds if your intent is to grow hemp on an agricultural level.

  8. The limits suggested are way too low.

    If one was given this amount fot their private needs and use. There is a higher likelihood that they return to black market supplies to get their medicine. It should be left to each user and grower to assess their own personal and household needs and should be left alone about it.
    Should the individual be found selling dagga. Fine arrest them. DO NOT ARREST ME FOR SIMPLY GROWINB OR POSSESSING CANNABIS . I KEEP MY PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE

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