ANC Cabinet member, Tito Mboweni, tweeted several photos of cannabis plants growing on his private farm, on 2 February 2020. Captions were calling for the legalisation of the plant for the first two and mocking for an arrest with the third. With his fourth and final dagga tweet, Mboweni explained that legalisation of cannabis will equal more tax revenue, that he is urgently in need of money, and called for radical economic transformation.
On the other end of the spectrum, Caro Smit of “South Africans Against Drunk Driving” responded that increased cannabis production would increase revenue for Sars, but the increased number of accidents, injuries and deaths, would cost the country. This argument can be debate another day, but one can argue that this comment might be bit oversimplified.
Mboweni’s recent tweets are not the first of the series; he has been calling for legalisation since early January. Nearing 18 months since the Constitutional Court gave the ANC two years to finalise and publish laws to control personal use of marijuana in South Africa, most South Africans are still left uncertain on the number fixed to “personal use”, and what the punishments are for exceeding this unknown limit.
Other matters that make things hazy, is the fact that right now it is up to the police officer to determine how much is too much. However, if the copper in question arrests you for your stash, you can still defend yourself in court. The Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992 allows for up to 115 grams to be classified as “personal use”. If you are caught selling marijuana, matters might be different as it is technically still illegal.
A few plants in your home and/or garden are unlikely to be classified a farm, and South African law allows the growing, cultivation, and use of weed on your own property. So for those who are wondering, the police cannot really arrest Mboweni. Nevertheless, since the laws around cannabis has not been made clear, refrain from using dagga outside of property you own or someone else in the company, do not smoke around someone who has not made it clear that they are fine with it, or around anyone under the age of 18.
With SONA taking place in about 10 days and the national budget being released this month, we are anxious to hear what will happen next! Stay updated with your latest cannabis news with i420CPT.
Other related news:
- Mboweni is not alone in proposing legalisation for economic reasons: Conservative Muslim province of Aceh in Indonesia proposes cannabis legalization. Leaders argue that it will boost economic development in the area, as the cultivation of the plant is already widespread in the area.
- Recent research on cannabis compounds THCV and CBDP. Important studies like these are what will facilitate and aid the legalisation and proper use of cannabis products.
- 2.5 tonnes of medical Cannabis shipped to Israel from Portugal, will improve Isreali patient access.