Pubdate: Tue, 08 Dec 2015
Source: New Age, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2015 TNA Media (Pty.)
Authors: Amy Saunders and Kevin Brandt


THE decision whether or not "holy herb" users in South Africa will be 
allowed to indulge in and use dagga for health reasons, will be 
decided in March next year.

The presiding Western Cape High Court judge, Dennis Davis, yesterday 
postponed the matter between marijuana advocate Ras Gareth Prince and 
respondents who consist of authorities from the trade, justice and 
health cluster to the second week of January when he will finalise 
the dates for the matter.

Prince, with the support of various other pro-cannabis organisations 
is seeking the legitimisation of all dagga smokers as well as the 
right to use cannabis for religious, spiritual and recreational 
medicinal purposes. Additional plaintiffs are also challenging the 
constitutionality of the criminal prohibition of marijuana saying 
that the legislative prohibition is irrational and violating their 
constitutional rights.

The defendants in the matter have denied that anyone's right to use 
cannabis have been infringed and remain that the government is acting 
in the interest of prohibiting the use of harmful drugs and is 
fulfilling its international obligations to fight the war against drugs.

The lengthy statements of the defendants also touched on the fact 
that they were fighting the harmful effects that cannabis had on the 
nervous system and respiratory system.

Speaking to the gathering of supporters outside the Cape Town High 
Court, chairperson for the Rastafari United Front Thau Thau 
Haramanuba said cannabis users want "freedom of ganja" without all 
the technicalities so they may practice their religion.
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