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Comment on Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill Extended

October 12, 2020

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The comment period for the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been extended.

The justice and correctional services committee called for comment on the bill in September 2020.

The bill was tabled in parliament at the beginning of 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.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 43595.

In a statement, the committee points out that several requests for an extension have been received.

Comment is now invited until 30 November 2020.