South Africa Cabinet Approves Measure To Regulate Private Cannabis Use
As of right now, there are only two countries that have legalized cannabis for adult use. Uruguay was the first (2013) and Canada was second (2018).
Two other nations, Mexico and Italy, have court rulings in place that mandate the implementation of a regulated adult-use system, however, compliance with the court decisions has yet to occur in those countries.
A handful of other countries, including the Netherlands, are exploring pilot programs to ‘test the waters’ of cannabis legalization. Assuming that the pilot programs are launched and prove to be successful, those nations could end up legalizing cannabis for adult use sooner rather than later.
One nation that appears to be moving in the right direction is South Africa. South Africa’s cabinet recently approved a measure that would legalize personal cannabis consumption by adults. Per Business Tech:
“This Bill regulates the use and possession of cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis plants by an adult for personal use.
“It 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 will have to face parliamentary consideration and a public consultation process before being signed into law.
Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy no matter where it exists, including in South Africa. The cannabis plant has been found to be 114 times safer than alcohol, and if alcohol can be used responsibly and legally by adults in South Africa, the same activity should be allowed when it comes to cannabis.
The odds of the measure making it all the way to becoming law is unclear at this time. As previously noted, there are additional steps that have to be overcome in order for the measure to get to the finish line, and there will no doubt be hurdles that pop up. However, the measure moving forward via the recent vote is definitely encouraging.