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Marijuana is now legal in South Africa, as long as it is used privately, by an adult, in their own private space. That's great news for the legalization of weed, but unfortunately, the judgment has left many questions unanswered.
How many grams can I store or transport? How many plants can I plant? What is legally considered a private space? Will commercial licenses ever be available? Will I be able to allow people to smoke at my restaurant? And the list goes on.
I won't be able to give you answers to these questions because no one knows the answers to them yet. It will only become known closer to September 2020, when 2 years have passed and the legalization has to be written into law. But what I can tell you is how to stay informed and even get involved in the legalization process! Thanks to many fantastic cannabis groups and societies, there really is a lot of information available.
1. Read the SA Police Directive
Straight from the horse's mouth, this directive will give you a good idea of what you should and should not do. Unfortunately, there are no indications on quantities, only that you may not buy or sell Marijuana. This is also one of the most pressing questions asked at the moment.
If you are unsure, smaller is always better. For example, it would be pretty bizarre if someone got into trouble for having 1 or 2 plants. But it would be expected if you have your whole backyard full of them. However, until the limits are written into law, anything is possible. Stay vigilant and make sure you can justify how much you are growing and that it is indeed "for personal consumption".
2. Watch the Hot Box Show every Thursday
The Hotbox Show is a 1 to 2-hour show originally created by The Dagga Couple. They have various guests and the topic is always Marijuana. Everything is discussed, from smoking herb to planting a few Autoflowers to generally talking about the current state of Marijuana in South Africa, the list goes on. But most importantly, if anything regarding the legalities of Marijuana changes in South Africa, this show will be the first place to talk about it!
Also, it's just a really cool and interesting show. I watch it religiously every week.
3. Join Fields of Green for All
You can sign up here. It provides you with access to key players in the marijuana industry in South Africa, and particularly legal experts that can help you with more complex legal questions. It costs R150.00 per month and well worth the money. Not just for the legal aspect, but also because you will be supporting the guys who are fighting ther real fight! These guys deserve all the support they can get!
5. Get some legal cover
If you really think you are at risk of getting into trouble or if you just want some extra peace of mind, it might be worthwhile having a lawyer on call. If you can't afford a lawyer, perhaps look at one of the legal options offered by FNB. For less than R100 a month, you can get some cover. I'm sure there are better options than FNB, so shop around! But remember, it is best to position yourself in a way that you won't ever have the need for a lawyer. Don't break the law! And in South Africa that means, don't deal!