Cannabis in South Africa: Top 5 Facts to Know

South Africa is now moving at a rapid pace toward economic development. The lifestyle of the South African people is also changing in that manner. South Africans are now trying American snacks too.  The most interesting fact is, South Africa’s Constitutional Court has recently passed a law which now legalized cultivation and smoking of Marijuana for adults in their home. Now, this law has created many controversies whether it is a positive or negative move.

For a better understanding of the facts, benefits, and risks; you need to know everything possible about the legalization of Marijuana in South Africa.


We have distinguished these top five facts below based on extensive research which will help you to take an informed decision.

1. All About the Law

South African court passed the law on September 18, 2018. This law was passed based on the trend of cannabis in South Africa. Residents will now be able to cultivate weeds in a private area only for personal use. That means cannabis has been considered as a medical herb and smoke considering as such. But you cannot be involved in selling, business or public smoking of the substance. It will be considered as illegal.

Based on the cannabis use trends in South Africa, there are a lot of grey areas around this judgment. But this law has gained an advantage for the marijuana industries in the neighboring country. Recently it was found by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime in a study that, more than 70% of the marijuana enter in South Africa from Lesotho. So this law will prevent this illegal trafficking.

2. The implication in the Workplace

Some might say that smoking of weed gives the required concentration and spirit to handle workloads in the job sector. Now the use of cannabis at the workplace should be prohibited in South Africa as it is considered as a public place.

The employer should make drug testing mandatory for the newly appointed employees as a precaution for disciplinary protocols. Most employers in South Africa already have some policies regarding the use of drugs and alcohols in the workplace, this law will help them to tighten their grip even more.

3. Increase in Road Accidents

Now South Africans are in possession of marijuana for private use then it might also affect the driving and road accidents rate in this country. According to section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act, ‘No person may drive a vehicle or occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle of which the engine is running on a public road while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug having a narcotic effect’.

Man Smoking Cannabis in Car

Now unlike alcohol, testing of marijuana is a complex procedure than testing of alcohol. This may lead to un-detection of cannabis in the drivers’ breath and might lead to an increase in road accidents in South Africa. So now it is essential for the regulators to draw a line and parameters before this law is implemented to ensure road safety.

4. Benefits of Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis has now also opened a lot of FAQs about Cannabis in South Africa. Now people are asking about the benefits of using cannabis. In some cases, taking marijuana can bring positive impact in some cases.  Cannabis now becomes a ‘drug’ in South Africa. Benefits of using Cannabis are:

  • Highly effective for patients with severe chronic pain.
  • Useful to the persons who are suffering in extensive physical and mental conditions.
  • It can improve the performance of the patients suffering from schizophrenia and other psychological problems.
  • It might help alcohol addicted person to fight and overcome their addictions.
  • No doubt that marijuana helps to fight immense stress and depression.
  • Considered as an effective treatment for the patients suffering in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy.
  • Marijuana is a medically effective treatment for the rare forms of epilepsy.

5. Disadvantages of Using Cannabis

If you are a resident of South Africa and thinking about what might be the risks of taking marijuana as it has been legalized for personal use, then there are some. Marijuana can be used as a medicinal use rather than recreational use. Sometimes it may create some risk involvement too.

  • Taking excessive cannabis might make the symptoms of bipolar condition worse.
  • Marijuana can unstable the social and economic balance and can increase anxiety among the young generation.
  • Regular inhaling of marijuana may create chronic coughing.
  • Excessive marijuana can lead to the phycological downfall and may lead to suicidal thoughts.


The court ruling is not yet specified on some of the aspects such as whether an adult will use it or cultivate it. The implication of this rule in the different sectors of the country is still unclear. Measurement scale of quotas based on grams per person or plants per person is still unclear.

The South African government needs to establish government dispensaries for selling marijuana or else it will lead to illegal trafficking. For now, we can say that only legal option open for the marijuana lovers in South Africa is to buy online and grow on a small scale privately.

Buying online, however, has its drawbacks since there are tons of misleading products these days. To ensure your safety and that you’re using high-quality products, it’s highly recommended that you really get to know your options first.

Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Mary Walton

I'm a professional editor, content strategist and a part of NCSM team. Apart from writing, I'm passionate about hiking and gaming. Feel free to contact me via Facebook.

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