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Cannabis Bill Signed into Law: Implications for Cannabis Users

Cannabis Bill Signed into Law: Implications for Cannabis Users

Cannabis Bill Signed into Law: Implications for Cannabis Users

Is it now legal to grow and consume your own Marijuana? And more importantly is it legal to buy Cannabis seeds? 

Report by Kevin Cook of Gardening.co.za 

On the eve of South Africa's 2024 election President Cyril Ramaphosa signed Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill into law and shortly there after John Maytham from CapeTalk 567AM sat down with Paul-Michael Keichel, an attorney at Cullinan and Associates, to delve into the nuances of the newly signed bill. This interview provided valuable insights into the legal landscape surrounding cannabis use, a topic which has been of significant interest to our GARDENING.co.za community.

Understanding the Bill:

Keichel highlighted that the new bill essentially codifies a regime that has been in place since the 2018 Prince Judgment by the Constitutional Court. This judgment allowed for private use and cultivation of cannabis, but the new bill provides more detailed guidelines on what is permissible. The aim is to eliminate any ambiguity, ensuring that users understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.

Private Use and Nuisance Law:

A key point of discussion was whether the bill allows for smoking cannabis in shared spaces, such as the balcony of a sectional title complex. Keichel explained that while smoking in private spaces is permitted, it must be done in a manner that does not create a nuisance to others. This means that consent from neighbours is crucial, and failure to obtain it could result in legal issues.

Public Smoking and Driving:

The conversation also touched on public smoking and the legality of consuming cannabis while in a vehicle. Keichel clarified that smoking cannabis in public spaces or while driving is illegal. This not only violates the Private Purposes Act but also the National Road Traffic Act, which prohibits driving under the influence of cannabis.

Buying Seeds and Growing Cannabis:

One of the most pertinent issues for our community is the legality of purchasing cannabis seeds and plants. Keichel confirmed that the new bill provides clarity on this matter. Cannabis is now defined narrowly as the mature, flowering tops of the plant, which are the psychoactive parts. Therefore, selling cannabis seeds and immature plants is not considered illegal, as they do not fall under this strict definition.

Remaining Questions and Future Regulations:

Despite the progress, some questions remain unanswered. The bill does not specify the upper limits of cannabis possession or cultivation, leaving these details to be addressed in future regulations. Until these limits are established, users cannot be arrested for possessing or growing "too much" cannabis.

Legalisation and the Road Ahead:

A significant development noted by Keichel is the removal of cannabis from the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act. This suggests that the government is moving towards creating a legal framework for the trade and recreational use of cannabis, a first for South Africa and the African continent.

Advice for Cannabis Users:

Keichel offered practical advice for cannabis users to avoid legal trouble. He recommended not storing large quantities of cannabis in a manner that could be interpreted as intent to distribute. Common sense and discretion are key to staying within legal bounds.

The discussion between John Maytham and Paul-Michael Keichel sheds light on the evolving legal landscape of cannabis in South Africa. As the government continues to refine and implement regulations, it is crucial for cannabis users to stay informed and act responsibly. We at GARDENING.co.za will continue to keep our community updated on these developments.

View our range of Cannabis products: CLICK HERE

For more insights and updates on gardening and cannabis legislation, stay tuned to GARDENING.co.za.

View The Original Interview - CLICK HERE