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Dagga Party’s Jeremy Acton: MP’s Will Be in Contempt of Constitutional Court if it Cannabis Bill is Passed into Law Unchanged

Dagga Party’s Jeremy Acton: MP’s Will Be in Contempt of Constitutional Court if it Cannabis Bill is Passed into Law Unchanged

Jeremy Acton was one of the original litigants in the case that ended up in the Constitutional Court. The founder and leader of the Dagga Party kicked off the presentations on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill to Parliament’s Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee on 23 May 2025. He somewhat mildly described the proposed Bill as ‘fascist, totalitarian, authoritarian and a declaration of war on cannabis users’. This is his presentation.

Jeremy Acton, founder of the Dagga Party of South Africa

30 May 2023 at 09:00:00

To the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and the President of South Africa, I am Jeremy Acton, founder and leader of the Dagga Party of South Africa which promotes cannabis as a resource for a sustainable, inclusive economy for the health of people.

I am also an original litigant in the Western Cape Constitutional dagga case 4153/12 Western Cape High Court, which combined with Prince, Ruben and others, ultimately reached the Constitutional Court judgement, case 108/17CCT on 18 Septmber 2018. I am also fully informed of the 2023 draft cannabis bill, which also features hemp clauses and also includes clauses regarding cultural and religious use of cannabis.

I am fully informed about the health-giving benefits of cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa and how these cannabinoids enhance and enable the human encocanabinoid system, and that cannabis, dagga, is a health-giving plant which can be taken for recreation or medicine. I’m fully informed of the health-giving aspects of the seed and seed oil of cannabis. I’m fully informed about the fodder value of the stalks and foliage of cannabis.

I am a member of the dagga culture of South Africa which was prosecuted and persecuted by the State since 1923 until the Constitutional Court judgement in 2018, and ever since.

I wish to inform you that the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is rejected in total by myself and the dagga culture of South Africa today, and the Bill shall adamantly be resisted, and the Bill in its present form is outside the mandate of the judgement and must be completely revised before being put to Parliament and must uphold the Constitutional Court ruling and the Bill of Rights.

The Bill is rejected by myself as litigant in Case 108/17CCT. The Bill presumes it may prescribe to the realm of human and individual privacy and falsely presumes it ca prescribe arbitrary quantities of plants that may be grown. The decision on the number of plants in cultivation is a private, personal decision of a person, according to their personal, private assessment of their cannabis needs and is outside of any prescription by the State.

So get used to it!

The Bill uses criminological and prosecutorial methods to criminalize people instead of providing clear guidelines for guidelines, ethics and methods of establishing a constructive and equitable cannabis industry in South Africa.

The Bill attempts to severely limit people’s access to the known benefits of the cannabis plant and in consideration of the traffickable quantities for which a person can be prosecuted, even if they are not trafficking, The Bill on the one hand considers cannabis as an undesirable, dependence-producing drug but at the same time appears to recognize the benefit of hemp fibre and seed and their nutritional value, but for arbitrary reasons, stalks and fibre may not be harvested from high-THC plants, which is ridiculous!

The Bill makes unsubstantiated claims that cannabis can inflict harm on society and does not recognize that policing and prosecution in the past and in the future is a costly and harmful to individuals and the State.

In the hemp sections of Bill, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, attempts to appropriate, like a gangster, the cannabis resource for himself and make himself sole decision-making and licensing authority and a determinant of policy in the cannabis and hemp sector. This assumption of being sole decision-maker is totally rejected by myself and the dagga culture of South Africa, who shall be as a whole, shall be the sole and ultimate decision-makers on the future of Cannabis sativa in South Africa.

The Bill fails to allow for the cultivation of indigenous high THC for animal feed or nutrition or for craft and tourism purposes.

The Bill unfairly gives the Minister of Justice the presumption that he may regulate and monitor the use of cannabis in relation the the cultural and religious use, and this is a further attempt to control realms of decision in society that are generally protected by the Bill of Rights.

The Bill will further promote the misuse of police informants, destroy people’s rights to privacy, enable home raids to determine compliance and generally abuse the rights of the people of South Africa.

The Bill further enables the development of a police state and the removal of human rights. The Bill criminalizes citizens for promoting the beneficial health care of the plant that should be the right of all human beings in nature.

The Bill is promoting the use of THC breathalizers for drivers and arbitrary blood level limits have been imposed in an attempt to invade the inner bodily privacy and dignity of the cannabis user and the Bill aims to criminalize a driver before they’ve committed any error or broken the rules of the road, based simply on a person’s use of cannabis.

There are no statistics that indicate cannabis is a road safety issue, the State is not able to show the need for such testing. Such testing is a violation of everyone’s constitutional right and I call you out on your agenda.

The Bill does not recognize that a personal, private vehicle is a personal private space that moves on a public road and the Bill criminalizes the smoking of dagga in the driver’s seat of a vehicle while it is parked, and I say this Bill is a further attempt to erode privacy rights without substantiated reason.

Although the Bill defines a private space, it does not deign to recognize the definition of the word ‘private’ or ‘privacy’ and thus pays no respect at all to the spirit or dictionary definition of such concepts.

The Bill makes the South African police the agency for enforcement of the Bill. The SAPS, with its widely justified perception of being the most corrupt government agency in the nation; it is also widely reported in the press as being infiltrated by criminal gangs, and the SAPS has been infiltrated and, in some cases controlled, by organized prison gangs. And this is the force the Minister is going to send into our homes to count our plants?

No way!

The people of the dagga culture of South Africa still suffer from police raids by policemen who conveniently don’t wear name tags and who seldom use a warrant when they enter. When they gain entry, all cash, cell phones and personal valuables are stolen and the person is released on bail. Before the next hearing the victim is told that the case has been withdrawn and there’s no need to appear, and the victim is unable to recover his property and cannabis. This is a racket being run out of SAPS and is also operating among prosecutors and we will not allow the Bill to bring more policing into our homes.

For these and other reasons, that I say to the Committee and the Presidency, the Bill will cause more harm to South Africans and South Africa as a nation. Real people are going to get really hurt if this Bill is passed.

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is a declaration of war, a fascist, totalitarian, authoritarian, Drug War Mark 2 on the cannabis community, the dagga plant and the people of South Africa, and be advised that with the tabling and signing of the Bill, the Parliamentary portfolio committee has not heard the constructive criticism and concerns of civil society in drafting the Bill and has therefore not done its job and must entirely revise the Bill before tabling it in Parliament.

I and the people of the dagga culture of South Africa adamantly defend our privacy, our homes, our rights, our cannabis plants across the nation and will support each other against any onslaught unleashed by the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill.

Members of the Committee have made much mention of international conventions when drafting this Bill but have totally ignored the concerns of civil society, interested and affected parties and have ignored the parameters of the dagga judgement in the Case 108/17CCT and are disregarding upholding the Bill of Human Rights.

The Portfolio Committee, Ministers and the President are advised that I do not contract with the Bill and there is no social context to the Bill, and I, as an original litigant, and the dagga community, reject the 2023 draft of the Bill, and in view that this Bill has arisen because of litigation in the Constitutional Court, to which this Bill is answerable, I warn that all members who vote for this Bill in its current form or who vote for its adoption in the House of Assembly, will be charged with contempt of court in respect of the Constitutional Court judgement 108/17CCT, 18 September 2018.

End of verbal submission, thank you!


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