South Africa’s Dagga Party founder Jeremy Acton says new cannabis bill has a ‘clear intent of criminalising people’.

SA Publication ,the Citizen, reports.

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, which aims to cater for those who use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, has been met with fierce opposition in Parliament.

The cannabis plant was decriminalised by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in September 2018 and gave Parliament 24 months to amend the relevant laws.

Almost five years later, Parliament is now looking to finalise the bill, which was tabled in 2020.

Although it is not a criminal offence for an adult citizen to use, possess or grow cannabis for personal consumption at home, the buying and selling of marijuana remains illegal.

The public was invited to provide comments on the proposed amendments to the bill, which seek to broaden its scope to include provisions relating to the commercialisation of hemp, the use of cannabis and its production.

The window for written submissions closed on 28 April this year.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services met on Tuesday to discuss the submissions it received from the public on the bill.

 

Iqela Lentsango, also known as the Dagga Party, indicated during the meeting that it was opposed to the bill as the legislation in its current form fell outside the mandate of the ConCourt judgment.

Dagga Party founder Jeremy Acton said he believed the bill used “criminal logic and prosecutorial methods” to regulate cannabis with a “clear intent of criminalising people”.

“The bill intends to severely limit people’s access to the known benefits of the cannabis plant and the consideration of trafficable quantities for which a person can be prosecuted even if they are not trafficking,” he told the committee on Tuesday.

Read more and see the text of the bill here

‘It will create a police state’: Dagga Party calls cannabis bill ‘fascist’

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