Criminalising cannabis use by children is unconstitutional, court rules

Court hears children are languishing for months in detention for trivial offences
GroundUp (South Africa)
Monday, August 3, 2020

sa dagga decriminalizedChildren found guilty of trivial offences, including the possession or use of cannabis, may not be incarcerated, the Johannesburg High Court has ruled. Section 4b of the Drug Trafficking Act, in so far as it applied to children, is unconstitutional and a child oriented approach should be followed to deal with drug use, which should include drug awareness, educational programs, treatment and rehabilitation. Regarding drug testing at schools, the South African Schools Act made it abundantly clear that the principal must have reasonable suspicion to test, no criminal proceedings may be instituted, the results must remain confidential, and it only authorised disciplinary proceedings. And yet, evidence suggested that hundreds of learners had been subjected to these tests and 24 had been unlawfully detained.