Insights from Parliament: Cabinet approves Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill
Aug 21, 2020

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill (“the Bill”) has been approved by Cabinet and will soon be tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Justice. 

This Bill follows from a Constitutional Court judgment that upheld the right to personal, private possession and cultivation of cannabis, and gave the legislature until September 2020 to enact legislation to this effect. Unfortunately, the manner in which government now seeks to regulate the personal use of cannabis appears to be in material ways arbitrary, irrational and disproportionately punitive. 

For example:

  • No justification is provided either for the quantity limits on personal possession, nor for the quantities determining the various categories created, i.e. trafficable and commercial quantities. These arbitrary limits attract major consequences.
  • The Bill imposes heavy sanctions, such as a sentence of up to four years’ imprisonment for cultivation in a public space of less than a trafficable amount of cannabis;
  • The sale of seeds could attract a sentence of up to two years, while the sentence for the sale of a flowering plant could go up to 15 years imprisonment.

In other respects, the Bill appears to undermine its purported objective, such as the irrational decision to make the sale of cannabis seeds illegal despite the right of private citizens to grow the plants.

Once the Bill has been tabled in Parliament, it will briefly be considered by Parliament and then be gazetted for public comment. Depending on the input received, but also considering the subject of this Bill, Parliament may require that public hearings be held as well.

The Resolve team has the experience and the expertise to develop and execute a concerted public relations and stakeholder engagement campaign that ensures our clients’ voice is heard in the various democratic and media opportunities that exist. 

Get in touch with us to see how we can assist you

Share this:

Share on twitter
Share on linkedin