December 8, 2021

Updated cannabis rules proposed for South Africa – including dealing with age limits and driving

The Division of Well being has backed the introduction of the Cannabis for Non-public Functions Invoice however warned that some well being and issues of safety will have to be addressed.

Presenting to parliament on Tuesday (24 August), the division stated that the authorized resolution to decriminalise cannabis for non-public use is appropriate.

It stated it’s not acceptable from a human rights perspective to lock up individuals who use cannabis, give them a legal report and waste state sources.

Nonetheless, it stated that the proposed draft Cannabis for Non-public Functions Invoice doesn’t go far sufficient in addressing issues round kids, second-hand smoke and the influence on highway customers.

“The bill does address the need to protect children, defined as persons under the age of 18, but does not refer specifically to adolescents and does not go far enough in protecting adolescents from access and exposure to cannabis,” it stated.

“Among other things, it needs to specify that anyone giving or selling cannabis to a person under 18 or failing to protect a child or adolescent from accessing cannabis should be charged with having committed a Class A offence.”

This ought to be seen as a minor offence or infringement, the division stated.

The division additionally stated that there’s a actual danger of considerable publicity of people that don’t use cannabis to second-hand cannabis smoke.

“It might be helpful to specify a distance, whether inside or outside. The purpose of the bill is ‘private’ use, and smoking in the presence of children and adolescents or non-consenting adults cannot be deemed private.”

The division additionally warned that cannabis use impacts perceptual motor functioning and thus will increase the danger of motorcar crashes.

“The bill does take this into account to some extent by amending the National Road Traffic Act, but sufficient attention and resources need to be given to training and equipping police to detect cannabis-impaired driving and prosecuting impaired drivers.”

Cannabis for non-public functions 

The federal government printed the draft Cannabis for Non-public Functions Invoice for public remark in September 2020.

The draft invoice outlines possession rules for cannabis customers at dwelling and individuals who want to domesticate the plant. It additionally introduces new offences and provisions for individuals who beforehand acquired a legal report for cannabis possession.

The draft invoice states that an grownup particular person might for private use:

  • Possess the prescribed amount of cannabis plant cultivation materials;
  • Domesticate the prescribed amount of cannabis vegetation in a non-public place;
  • Possess in non-public the prescribed amount of cannabis in a public place;
  • Possess the prescribed amount of cannabis in a non-public place;
  • Possess in non-public the prescribed amount of cannabis vegetation in a public place.

The invoice defines a ‘private place’ as anyplace, including a constructing, home, room, shed, hut, tent, cell dwelling, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the general public doesn’t have entry as of proper.

The draft laws additionally states that an grownup particular person might, with out the alternate of remuneration present to, or get hold of from, one other grownup particular person, for private use the prescribed amount of:

  • Cannabis plant cultivation materials;
  • Cannabis vegetation;
  • Cannabis.

The draft invoice units outs ‘prescribed quantities’ for each private use and cultivation functions.

For personal use, the limits embody:

  • Limitless seeds and seedlings;
  • 4 flowering vegetation for these residing alone, or eight for properties with two adults or extra;
  • 600 grams of dried cannabis when you dwell alone, or 1.2 kilograms in properties with two or extra adults;
  • 1.2 kilograms dried cannabis or cannabis equal per dwelling, which two or extra grownup individuals occupy.

The invoice additionally permits for the possession of cannabis ‘in private’ in a public place, however that is restricted to 100 grams.

The draft invoice defines ‘in private’ as to maintain, retailer, transport or be in command of cannabis or a cannabis plant, respectively, in a fashion that conceals it from public view.

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