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What Exactly Constitutes Legal Cannabis Use In South Africa?

Right, since the September 2018 Constitutional Court judgement, every South African’s green thumbs were automatically activated. While this ruling is a landmark occasion for the cannabis industry, there are still some unanswered questions.

Like: “What exactly is private use?”

While we’re sure you’ve already read some of the headlines, let’s just go through a refresher on the legalities of using cannabis in Mzansi.

What Does Private Consumption Mean?
While enjoying a blunt on the beach sounds great, you’re still not officially allowed to consume marijuana in public.

At the moment the ruling states that you can enjoy it privately. What is considered private is still very much a grey area, actually it hasn’t been defined in the ruling at all.

All we can say, or according to a comment submitted to BusinessTech by Julie Oppenheim, a partner at law firm Bowmans, is;

“Every citizen has the right to privacy and this right informed the Constitutional Court’s decision in the famous cannabis case of September 2018.”

So, rather puff-puff-pass around the braai at home and be safe. At the time this article was published, we’re still waiting for confirmation on what constitutes “private”. As a rule of thumb, if the police require a court order to enter and search, you should be ok.

Now, there will be some of you reading this thinking, “My car is private…”

It’s not. The police can still see you in the vehicle, and it’s now up to them to use their discretion… Oh God, let’s dive into that subject matter.

Police Discretion
Right, we’re really walking on eggshells here. Ok, let’s dive in shall we.

As there are loads of grey areas, let’s say the police can use their own preconceived notions. If you are caught using weed in a public place, they will ask for an explanation. You will most likely not be charged for public use of weed but If you are carrying what they consider to be a large enough amount, they could charge you with dealing.

But wait! Don’t put that joint out yet, they do need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are actually dealing. Our random tip is not to carry a massive amount of cannabis around, and then our second is, don’t deal. Just grow your own and enjoy at your, or a friend’s home.

Also, the law has always stated in the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, that under 115 grams can be successfully argued as being possessed for ‘personal use’. Which can be easily tucked into one of our storage cases.

We’d argue that a police officer who saw you had stored your amazingly rolled joint in a Zoot Tube would know you’re the only one who is going to be enjoying it.  

It should also be stated that you can carry cannabis onto a local South African flight, but not internationally.

Now, that we’ve spoken about the legal side, it is the festive season, you might need to hide your crop from family members.

Here are five stupid tips our writer came up with to hide your stash from your strict and conventional family members:

  • If you have an attic, use it. You can store one of our tents with a grow light above the heads of your unsuspecting family members. 
  • Hide it in a creeper, if it is in the garden. You’d be surprised how quickly a Black Eyed Susan will grow around and hide the largest plant. 
  • For those keeping it indoors, make sure to have a constant flow of air through the house. We love cannabis, but it has an odour. 
  • Flat dwellers will be flapping their arms up and down, as these tips are mostly for homeowners. But, here’s one for you, grow it off-site. Hell, dig it into a random planting box for a day or two. 
  • And the final resort is to tie large flowers to the plants. Buy a large bouquet of sunflowers, tie them to the main stem, and put it on the top shelf. If your family likes sunflowers, choose something they don’t like. My mother hates lilies, so that’s the flower I’d use. Then again, the Black Eyed Susan is hiding my crop nicely already. 

Hope this helps…  

Words By: Andrew Macfarlane, budding horticulturist, and veteran of telling lies to his mother.  

Zootly says: “If I was trying to hide my crop from my mom, I’d just do a Christmas off-site. May we suggest looking up some nice places on MyCityByNight” 

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