As of today, private use, cultivation and possession of marijuana has officially become legal within the privacy of your home. While many have welcomed the Constitutional Court ruling on legalising dagga in SA, there are also concerned citizens who believe this is a negative move.

A better understanding of the benefits and risks, as well as the law, is necessary to make an informed decision.

The Law

Residents will now be able to grow weed within the confines of a private space, specifically for personal use. This means that you may grow and smoke the medicinal herb at home, but the selling, public possession and smoking of the substance is still illegal.

In light of the judgement, for the next 24 months it will not be a criminal offense for an adult to use or be in possession of the herb in private, while laws are being amended.


Benefits of Cannabis

– It is considered highly effective for the relief of chronic pain

– It is therapeutic for those suffering from both mental and physical conditions

– It can improve performance in learning and memory for patients suffering from schizophrenia and other psychosis

– The use of marijuana may help people with alcohol or opioid dependencies to fight their addictions

– It relieves stress and helps with depression

– Is an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy

– Oral cannabinoids may improve symptoms of spasticity for patients with multiple sclerosis

– It is also used for the effective treatment of rare forms of epilepsy.


Risks of Cannabis use

– It may worsen symptoms of bipolar conditions

– Dagga can also increase social anxiety

– Regular smoking may cause chronic coughing

– In some cases suicidal thoughts are aggravated.


The difference between recreation and medicinal use.

Medicinal use is strictly relation to tending or alleviating an ailment or disease. This can refer to many forms of consumption and use, from external and internal oils, to consuming cannabis based edibles, droplets or teas.

Recreational use is purely for the affect of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which provides the user with a “high” feeling similar to that of consuming alcohol.


The Unknown

The Constitutional Court ruling has not specified the amount of cannabis an adult may use or cultivate yet, parliament is yet to decide on these quotas.

There is also no clarification on how rules and regulations will be enforced and implemented – or whether the quotas will vary according grams per person or plants per home.

There are no official dispensaries in Cape Town or information as to how these dispensaries would be governed. For now the only legal option for cannabis lovers is to buy seeds online and grow a small crop privately.


Here’s a few interesting facts about weed that you may not know:

Pictures: Unsplash

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