Judge Hayley Slingers says another court may find she erred in ruling that the Private Cannabis Club model was against the law.
Judge Hayley Slingers has given The Haze Club Director Neill Liddell leave to appeal against the dismissal of his application in the Western Cape High Court to recognize the legality of private cannabis clubs. The matter will now go to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
Judge Slingers ruled on 4 November 2022 that “leave to appeal against the order dismissing the alternative relief in the judgement delivered on 29 August 2022 is granted to the Supreme Court of Appeal and costs of the application will be costs in the appeal.”
Earlier this year Judge Slingers had dismissed the THC application.
The application for leave to appeal was opposed by the first three respondents in the case, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, and the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions. However Judge Slingers wrote that “After considering the application for leave to appeal as well as argument by counsel, I am of the view there are reasonable prospects of success than an appeal court could find that the court erred in its reading of paragraphs 85 to 87 of the Prince 3 judgement and could find that a Grow Club Model gives effect to the right of an adult to possess and cultivate cannabis in private for his/her use”.
Judge Slinger wrote: “Furthermore there are reasonable propects of success that an appeal court could find that the court erred by failing to properly apply the justification enquiry when considering the limitations of the constitutional rights to equality, bodily and psychological integrity, freedom of trade and profession and human dignity.
“Whether or not the Grow Club Model would result in condoning dealing in cannabis or would give effect to the right of an adult, via agency, to possess and/or cultivate cannabis for personal use in private is a question of law of importance, which in my opinion, should be considered by the SCA.
The said the original THC case, in which Liddell and van Houten were arrested and charged with possessing 2,5 kg of cannabis and cultivating 344 plants, would be put on hold for the time being. “These criminal proceedings have been stayed pending the finalization of this application. The outcome of this application will impact on how and when those proceedings are finalized”.
Andrew MacPherson of Brink Ward Attorneys who’s representing the three applications - Liddell, THC and THC employee Ben van Houten, says the legal team will regroup next week and more information will be provided on the way forward.