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South Africa legalises private use of cannabis

LEGALISED: South Africa's highest court has ruled in favour of personal consumption and cultivation of cannabis

SOUTH AFRICA has legalised the use of cannabis in private today.

The landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, means that adults can consume the drug in private places without fear of prosecution.

The decision to legalise personal use of the drug was a unanimous one by the judges presiding over the ruling.

As well as consumption, the court also legalised the growing of marijuana for personal use, although a

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, said: "It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption."

Campaigners, Rastafarians and supporters of the ruling gathered outside the court to celebrate.

They danced with signs featuring statements such as “Dagga [weed] is my culture” and “Warning: Cannabis Kills Cancer”.

Inside the court people clapped and screamed as the judge made the announcement.

Some of the South Africans who made it to the court today have been fighting for years to have the law overturned.

Rastafarian Garreth Prince and Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton fronted the legal fight.

On social media there were calls for those who have been imprisoned for possession to be released.

One person said: “Free everyone who has been jailed for possessing cannabis. Retracts all ongoing court cases as well.”

South Africa’s parliament have been given a 24-month window to change the law to mirror the ruling by the court.

The court deemed the ban on the personal use of cannabis as unconstitutional.

The drug is still illegal to smoke out in public, carry in public and sell to others.

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