South Africa Broadly Decriminalizes Cannabis

South Africa became the first country in Africa to legalize cannabis for personal use last week under a bill signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa just days before the president’s party lost its majority in Congress.

Full story after the jump.

Before last week’s elections, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gave final approval to a bill to decriminalize cannabis, making the nation the first in Africa to legalize cannabis for personal use. President Ramaphosa signed the Cannabis for Private Purposes Act on May 28, which removed cannabis from the nation’s Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act. 

In a press release, Ramaphosa said the move “will further enable amendment of the Schedules to the Medicines and Related Substances Act and provide for targeted regulatory reform of the Plant Breeders Rights Act and the Plant Improvement Act, as well as other pieces of legislation that require amendment to allow for the industrialization of the cannabis sector.” 

“The Bill further guides the medically prescribed administration of cannabis to a child while also protecting children from undue exposure to cannabis. It provides for an alternative manner by which to address the issue of the prohibited use, possession of, or dealing in, cannabis by children, with due regard to the best interest of the child. It also prohibit the dealing in cannabis.” — Ramaphosa in a statement 

Ramaphosa’s party, the African National Congress, lost its majority in Congress during elections on May 29. 

Under the law adults in South Africa may possess unlimited cannabis seeds and seedlings, up to four flowering plants per person or eight per household in a private place, up to 100 grams of flower in a public place; and up to 600 grams of dried cannabis per person or 1,200 grams per household in a private place. Adults may smoke and consume cannabis in private places and gift, without remuneration, up to 30 seeds or seedlings, one flowering plant, or 100 grams of cannabis flower.

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