Amendments to the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill are in the pipeline.
The portfolio committee on justice and correctional services has called for comment on proposed amendments to the bill.
The bill was tabled in parliament in September 2020.
Cabinet approved the bill in August 2020 for tabling in parliament.
According to the cabinet statement, the bill gives effect to a Constitutional Court judgement that declared unconstitutional some parts of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992 and Medicines and Related Substances Control Act of 1965.
Parliament was given 24 months to correct the relevant sections.
The bill, drawn up by the justice and constitutional development department, regulates the use and possession of cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis plants by an adult for personal use.
It also provides the limit of the quantity of cannabis that may be possessed by an adult and criminalizes the smoking of cannabis in public places.
The bill aims to:
• respect the right to privacy of an adult person to possess cannabis plant cultivation material; to cultivate a prescribed quantity of cannabis plants; to possess a prescribed quantity of cannabis; and to smoke and consume cannabis;
• regulate the possession of cannabis plant cultivation material; the cultivation of cannabis plants; the possession of cannabis; and the smoking and consumption of cannabis by an adult person;
• protect adults and children against the harms of cannabis;
• provide for the expungement of criminal records of persons convicted of possession or use of cannabis;
• delete and amend provisions of certain laws; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
In March 2022, the committee decided to extend the scope of the bill.
The proposed amendments seek to expand the scope of the bill to include:
- commercial activities in respect of recreational cannabis;
- the cultivation, possession and supply of cannabis plants and cannabis by cultural or religious communities or organisations for cultural or religious purposes; and
- the use of cannabis for palliation or medication.
Comment is invited until 13 May 2022.