Legalization Update: South Africa

Legalization Update: South Africa

Marijuana is now legal for private use in South Africa. Buying it there, however, is another story.

It is no longer illegal to possess or use marijuana in South Africa if you’re an adult and you keep it and/or use it in a private place. You can even grow some weed for your private use.

The South African government long resisted legalizing cannabis, arguing that it is “harmful” to people’s health. But when three users brought a case arguing that the ban on cannabis “intrudes unjustifiably into their private spheres,” the highest court in the country ruled that private consumption shouldn’t be illegal.

But while possessing or using your own weed is no longer a criminal offense, consuming it in public is still illegal, as is selling it, which means that South America will bypass significant potential tax revenue.

Will weed be further legalized?

For now, this is unlikely. The government still has two years to amend the current law on cannabis consumption, so any further changes might take some time. But the Dagga Party — ‘Dagga’ is the South African word for marijuana — will continue to lobby for further legalization.

In the meantime, as 420 Intel explains, law enforcement will have to “determine whether or not a person is growing or possesses the plant for personal use or is using it to sell.”

So, if you happen to visit South Africa, it will be near impossible to obtain legal weed. Your only option might be to make some friends who offer to let you smoke some of their homegrown stash. But even that could be dicey. Since it’s still illegal to sell or otherwise supply marijuana in South Africa, police might not take to kindly to such a gift and arrest both you and your new friends.