Smokers will continue to trade weed despite ruling still banning dealing

23 September 2018 - 00:00 By KATHARINE CHILD


Dealing in marijuana is still illegal, but Dagga Party leader Jeremy Acton said he and other smokers would continue to "transact and exchange dagga in private".
Acton was one of the applicants in the court case, arguing that the ban on home use of dagga was a violation of one's constitutional rights.
This week, the Constitutional Court decriminalised the private use, possession and cultivation of dagga for adults, finding that the ban violated the right to privacy.
But the court made it clear: dealing in dope is still a criminal activity. Acton did not have a lawyer represent him.
"I was stoned when I did all the writing [of legal papers] so cannabis wrote the case."
Acton said people would still continue buying dagga.
"Transactions are always going to happen. We are going to trade and transact and purchase and swap and exchange in private."
He has thought of ways to circumvent the ban on the purchase of dagga - all based on not paying directly for it.
"You can buy a token or ticket and later exchange this for dagga. Also, we will print Dagga Party pamphlets and dealers can sell them - the dagga itself will be a gift from the dealer."
He said supper clubs could be held in private homes and tickets for these sold to pay for the dinner - with a joint or two as an after-dinner bonus.
"We will be gathering in private homes. And declare them a private space with no under-18s and police permitted.
"We will continue celebrating our culture in private."
He said there are no laws defining how much dagga is allowed for personal use.
The judgment, penned by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, left it to parliament to decide how much of the plant could legally be grown and kept at home.
Acton said the Dagga Party hopes to raise enough money to contest next year's national elections so that he can win a parliamentary seat to influence the regulation process on dagga use.
"I will be going to the South African Revenue Service on Tuesday to get a tax number for the party."
The court left it to the police's discretion to decide whether a person found with dagga can be arrested on suspicion of dealing.
Acton has been arrested for dagga possession four times in seven years and had all his cases stayed until the outcome of this case.
The finding legalises private use from Tuesday but does not erase crimes committed before then.

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