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Dagga – the way forward

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Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs

Shortly after the court’s decision, Parliament’s spokesperson Molapo Mothapo told the media that the Constitutional Court first has to confirm the judgment on dagga before Parliament can rectify legislation or introduce a new bill on the matter.

Mothapo said there could be appeals against the judgment, which Concourt is also yet to confirm.

“There is still a long way to go before Parliament can do anything about it,” he said.

The judgment brought mixed reaction with some hailing the high court.

Mothapo said once litigation was finalised and the Concourt confirmed the judgment, then Parliament would rectify the defects identified in the laws.

He said Parliament could opt to deal with the defects in terms of the Medical Innovation Bill, currently before it.

The bill was first introduced by former IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, an advocate of the decriminalisation of dagga use for medicinal purposes. He died of lung cancer in 2014.

Rastafarian Garreth Prince brought the matter to the High Court. He was joined in the application by several other applicants including Jeremy Acton of the Dagga Party.

In another case which could contribute towards the legalisation of cannabis in South Africa, Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, also known as the “Dagga Couple” are scheduled to appear in the Pretoria High Court later this year after their home was raided by members of the SAPS in 2010. Their defence is exp

ected to include testimony from world-renowned experts and activists. – Murray Swart