Puff and pass: what you need to know about the new proposed dagga laws

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been published ahead of its submission to parliament.
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Minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola has published a draft law regulating legal dagga possession in SA, ahead of its submission to parliament.

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill comes after a Constitutional Court ruling that legalised the personal use and cultivation of dagga in 2018.

Here is what you need to know.

Offences and penalties

The bill deals with personal use by an adult person and proposes maximum jail time of 15 years for anyone who deals in dagga or provides it to a child — someone under 18.

Smoking dagga in public, too close to a window, or in the immediate presence of any non-consenting adult person could lead to a jail sentence of up to two years. Anyone smoking around children can get up to four years in jail.

The draft law defined cannabis as anything that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including edibles, oils, and vaping liquid.

Legal limits for personal use in private places

The bill defines “private places” as a building, house, room, shed, hut, tent, mobile home, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the public does not have access as of right.

Legal use at home:

  • Unlimited for seeds and seedlings
  • Four flowering plants for those living alone, or eight for homes with two adults or more
  • 600g of dried cannabis if you live alone, or 1.2kg in homes with two or more adults.

Amount allowed to carry in public spaces

An adult person may, for personal use, possess 100g of dry dagga or one flowering plant in a public space.

The draft also states that an adult person may, without the exchange of remuneration, provide to, or obtain from, another adult person, for personal use, the prescribed quantity of cannabis plant cultivation material, cannabis plant, or cannabis.

A public place, as defined by the bill, means any place to which the public has access as of right.

More information on penalties, quantities, and criminal offences can be found here.

BY UNATHI NKANJENI

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