Cannabis legalised in South Africa

Earlier this week, South Africa’s Constitutional Court upheld a ruling from the Western Cape High Court that people were allowed to smoke dagga aka cannabis aka marijuana in private. The Court rejected now discredited arguments by those opposed to legalisation.
The jokes began immediately. The most obvious one was that the Constitutional Court was now the highest in the land. That raised a chuckle the first time I saw it, but by the twelfth time it had worn very thin.
But what does the ruling mean?
All it means is that you can use cannabis in private. You can also share it with others in the privacy of your own home.
You can’t buy any part of the cannabis plant.
You can’t grow cannabis and sell it.
As with tobacco, you can’t smoke cannabis if people present object, or in front of children.
You can’t drive under the influence of cannabis. The police have announced that driving under the influence of cannabis is impaired driving, and anyone doing so will be arrested and charged.
You can’t show up to work high or get high on the job. It will be viewed the same way as being drunk on duty, and you will face disciplinary action, possibly even dismissal.
You can’t be high in public. The Police will treat that the same as public drunkenness.
The ruling also raises a “chicken and egg” problem: in order to grow cannabis for personal use, you need to buy cannabis seeds, which is still illegal.
My own thoughts on drug use have evolved. I used to agree with banning drugs. Now I believe that legalising and regulating the drug trade is the best way to handle the matter. People are always going to take mind-altering substances, and banning them just drives the problem underground. It also makes it very difficult for addicts to seek treatment.
Further to the above, some countries will actually give heroin to those who want to shoot up. And even though it sounds insane, it works.
Part of the attraction of taking illegal substances is the forbidden fruit aspect. The government giving people heroin to shoot up strips that away, and reveals just how pathetic drug addiction really is. Many people who shoot up under these circumstances realise this and quit very quickly.
Here’s hoping that decriminalisation continues.

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About autismjungle

I am a Software Test Analyst. Shortly before I turned 21 I was officially diagnosed, although I had long suspected I was autistic. Welcome to my blog
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