The Constitutional Court opened the gates on Tuesday for adult South Africans to legally grow and use cannabis privately, while still criminalising commercial use despite its potential economic benefits. The landmark judgment by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo unanimously declared that sections of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act are inconsistent with the constitution. The court suspended the order of invalidity for 24 months, to allow parliament to deal with the necessary legislation. Parliament has already said the judgment could entail the introduction of a new bill, or the executive introducing one to give effect to the order. The court heard an application for leave to appeal, as well as a confirmation application in November 2017 of a judgment by the High Court in Cape Town, which declared the same sections unconstitutional, saying the right to privacy was at the heart of the case.

The top court went one step furt...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.