The South African government plans to publish proposed guidelines for the growing of cannabis, known locally as dagga.
While marijuana is illegal in South Africa – and everywhere else in Africa – South Africa is moving a step closer to legalising it for medicinal purposes, says the Huffington Post.
Narend Singh, a member of parliament for the Inkatha Freedom Party told the blogger newspaper: “This is a major breakthrough and fantastic news for freedom of choice.” Singh said the Medicines Control Council (MCC) working group on cannabis had written to him saying it expects to publish its proposed guidelines on cannabis production for medicinal use “soon”.
Singh said: “For us, this is a step in the right direction.”
In November last year (2016), the MCC issued a memo on the legal framework about legalising dagga for medicinal use. “In recent years, a small but growing body of evidence has emerged suggesting that cannabis may have medicinal value for some patients in conditions where other treatments have failed,” said the memo.
It continued: “Licensed domestic cultivation of medicinal cannabis will be aimed at ensuring the supply of a standardised, quality-assured product for medical, scientific and clinical research purposes, and the implementation of control measures necessary to prevent misuse and to ensure patient safety. Cannabis grown or cultivated for medicinal purposes, as well as any resulting products prepared from the plant material, will remain subject to stringent security and quality control measures.”
Singh couldn’t say how soon the draft documents could become law. This would depend on factors including the public consultation.
AFK Insider reports there is also a case due to be heard before the Constitutional Court, calling for the full legalisation of marijuana, including using if for recreational purposes.