The Constitutional Court says a police officer may arrest a person if the officer suspects that they are dealing in cannabis, but the court says the private production and use of cannabis is allowed.
The court found that sections of the Drugs Act and Medicines Act, which criminalized the private use and possession of cannabis, are constitutionally invalid because they infringed on the right to privacy.
The court says Parliament will now have to decide on the quantity of cannabis that an adult may use, possess or cultivate for personal use.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered the unanimous judgment.
“A police officer may arrest a driver for negligent driving on the basis of that police officers’ view on the facts on whether the person is driving negligently. In the end, it will be a court that decides whether the driver drove negligently. In the case of the use or possession or cultivation of cannabis by an adult for that adult’s personal consumption, it will be a court that will decide whether an accused person was in possession of cannabis for his or her personal consumption or for dealing in cannabis.”