Is Joburg’s hot new joint legal?
A court ruling last year suggested it is unconstitutional to ban the private use of marijuana. But users have been left in limbo, with little movement towards legalisation
There’s nothing inconspicuous about 420 Café, the restaurant in the heart of SA’s most important financial district that openly sells marijuana. The café — located a stone’s throw from Sandton Central Park — brazenly advertises its presence with neon signage along Sandton Drive. Inside, patrons are greeted with a sign that says "Welcome to Sandterdam" — an obvious play on the names of SA’s business hub and Amsterdam, the weed capital of the world. Aside from food and nonalcoholic beverages, the double-storey café sells a range of marijuana products, which guests can enjoy in-house or at home. The bar is kitted out with graffiti, Bob Marley insignia, bean bags and other such seemingly obligatory furnishings for an establishment of this kind. It attracts possibly the most eclectic crowd in Joburg’s northern suburbs. Bikers, hippies, tourists, inquisitive passers-by and polished corporate types make for an otherwise unlikely collection of people. But the café shouldn’t really exist. 42...
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