Cannabis Is Legal in South Africa, but the Policy Outlook Remains Hazy

Cannabis Is Legal in South Africa, but the Policy Outlook Remains Hazy
A Malawian migrant smokes marijuana on the rooftop of an abandoned building in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, March 29, 2018 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world.

Last month, South Africa’s Constitutional Court surprised many observers by upholding a lower court decision striking down the country’s prohibition on the consumption and cultivation of cannabis for personal use. The ruling was widely cheered by advocates, but lawmakers in Cape Town and officials in Pretoria must now decide how best to implement this sudden legal shift. In an interview with WPR, Anine Kriegler, a doctoral candidate in criminology at the University of Cape Town, explains why hammering out the policy details of cannabis legalization will be anything but a straightforward process.

World Politics Review: What were the circumstances that led to the recent court case, and on what basis did the Supreme Court decide in favor of cannabis legalization?

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