Substance Abuse In The Media
SABC Newsroom live debate with the Dagga Couple
Prince v The President of the Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope CCT 36/00 (2000)
The appellant was a practicing Rastafari who allegedly used marijuana for religious reasons. His initial challenge was directed at the Law Society’s finding that he was not a fit and proper person to be admitted as an attorney because he had previous convictions for possessing marijuana and said he would continue using it. The possession and use of cannabis is prohibited by the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act and the Medicines and Related Substance Control Act. His appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal challenged criminalising dagga but shifted to a plea for a religious exemption for adult Rastafari. The Supreme Court of Appeal found against the appellant, who then appealed to the Constitutional Court.
DFL assisted the State with medical evidence proving the harmfulness of marijuana. In a 5-4 judgment the Constitutional Court subsequently decided against the appellant.