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Cannabiz Africa

23/09/21, 10:00

Cannabis to be dropped from the Drug Trafficking Act but “dealing” will still be illegal. Further public input on the Cannabis Bill is now likely.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has released the latest version of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, which is likely to opened again for public comment this year. Surprisingly it makes no mention of the limit to the number of plants one may cultivate at home and one can legally acquire seeds to do so. It does not envisage the commercial trade in cannabis. That will have to be another law.


The lack of plant cultivation limits is likely to be an appeasement to traditional growers, but it’s unclear how they will be accommodated if their means of livelihood remains criminalized.


Another contradiction is that cannabis is to be removed from the Drugs Act, yet dealing remains illegal. 

A further muddle is the intention to expunge certain passed cannabis convictions, including in some cases, dealing.


Penalties for adults exposing children to cannabis and stoned drivers who are a danger to other motorists have been stiffened by most minor transgressions will result in a R2 000 fine.


Fields of Green for All’s Leela Baer provides an incisive guide into the latest version of the Bill and where the process goes from here.  Read her analysis ROLLING WITH SOME NEW PAPERS – A Blunt Discussion on Cannabis Policy Reforms, first published by FGFA on 18 September 2023.


Read the amended Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill here.


The Bill will be re-opened for public comment, although there’s no timeline that has yet emerged and whether the input will be before the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee or under the auspices of the National Council of Provinces.


In the intro to the Bill, published on 12 September 2023, the drafters say the purpose of the proposed Act, once it becomes law is:


To

· respect the right to privacy of an adult person to use, possess or cultivate cannabis;

· regulate the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis by an adult person;

· provide for an alternative manner by which to address the issue of the prohibited use, possession and cultivation of, or dealing in, cannabis by children, with due regard to the best interest of the child;

·  prohibit the dealing in cannabis;

·  provide for the expungement of criminal records of persons convicted of possession or use of cannabis or dealing in cannabis on the basis of a presumption;

· delete and amend provisions of certain laws; and

·  provide for matters connected therewith.

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No Mention of Plant Limits in Latest Version of Cannabis Bill; Further Public Input Likely

Mo Mention of Plant Cultivation Limits in New Cannabis Bill; Further Public Input Likely

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