The Legal Fight For Cannabis In South Africa
In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize all uses of the cannabis plant. In the United States, as of January 2018, cannabis can be legally consumed in nine states and in Washington, D.C. Despite this, a black person is still almost four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession in the United States, according to the ACLU. In South Africa, weed is commonly referred to as “dagga,” but every part of the plant is still illegal.
For the past 17 years, legally trained attorney Gareth Prince has been leading the fight for the legalization of dagga in South Africa. Originally from Cape Town, Prince is a Rastafarian and consumes dagga as a sacrament of his faith. In 1993, Prince completed his second law degree, but was prohibited from becoming a candidate attorney because of his consumption of dagga. In 2001, Prince approached the Constitutional Court of South Africa to fight for the legal consumption of dagga for the Rastafari people, but ultimately lost the decision. However, in 2012, Prince went to the courts again to fight for the legality of cannabis for all South Africans. Gareth Prince joins Worldview to discuss his legal battle for cannabis in South Africa.