Cannabis and Your December Holiday – Survival Tips

By |Published On: December 1st, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

December holidays are a time of rest, reflection, relaxation and getting high. It’s a tricky time to be a stoner, though, we all know the police are on high alert after lockdown and are surely now preparing for their informal Christmas bonuses, so avoiding being arrested should be a really high priority. We’ve gathered some survival tips for you to help you make it through the festive season safely, with all of your weed.

Survival Tip 1: Travel safely

According to the ConCourt Privacy Judgement of 2018, a person’s vehicle, home, bag and pockets are private spaces and cannot be searched without an original signed warrant shown beforehand. This means that you are allowed to:

  • travel with Cannabis in your car;
  • put Cannabis in your carry-on luggage when you fly;
  • have Cannabis in your pockets on the beach;
  • have Cannabis in your house or your rented holiday housing.

But here’s the thing, it’s still based on privacy. This means you need to keep it out of public view, in other words, concealed. So:

  • DON’T have bags of Cannabis visibly lying in your car;
  • DON’T walk with your Cannabis visibly in your hands, in a public place;
  • DON’T take out your Cannabis and smell its dankness or behold its beauty, in a public place.

Survival Tip 2: Careful where you smoke!

Every Vaalie will want to smoke a blunt on the beach (it’s me, I’m Vaalies). As good and entertaining as that might be, it’s illegal. The beach is a public place and you’re not allowed to smoke Cannabis in a public space. Here are some other places you’re not allowed to smoke Cannabis:

  • outside the mall after Christmas shopping;
  • in your car in the parking lot, waiting for someone to finish Christmas shopping;
  • at the aquariam;
  • at the drive-in;
  • at the restaurant where your table is on sea sand;
  • your grandma’s retirement estate;
  • on your walk in the suburbs;
  • at the pitstop garage on your way to the coast.

Survival Tip 3: Know your rights

The most important thing for anyone involved with Cannabis is to know their rights. You need to be informed on what the police are allowed to do and not to do, because they will find any way they can to catch you out. Print some copies of our Know Your Rights booklet (link below) and keep them in your car. You can also hand them to the police if you get hassled. Here are some of the most important things to know:

  • The police cannot search your private space based on the reason that you fit some sort of profile. There has to be evidence, they’re not allowed to act on assumption;
  • There is no such charge as “Possession of Cannabis”. It is legal to possess Cannabis;
  • There is currently no limit to the amount of Cannabis you can possess;
  • You are allowed to record your interaction with the police;
  • If you get arrested, do not sign an admission of guilt. Get hold of a lawyer to help you – this is your constitutional right;
  • The police must have a warrant with your correct name, the correct date and the correct address or details of the car that they want to search. They are not allowed in your home or car without this document unless you give them access and permission, which you shouldn’t do;
  • If you are arrested, they can’t hold you in the cells until your court date – you are entitled to police bail.

Survival Tip 4: Print and keep these documents ready

Make sure you have copies of the following documents handy to show to the police. Study them carefully to be sure that you understand what it says – it doesn’t help you shove it in the policeman’s face, but you don’t know its contents.

Know your rights booklet
Arrest Circular
Police Directive
Privacy Judgement
2020 HIGH court precedent about warrants
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About the Author: Marleen Theunissen

Cannabis lover, spreader of love, hater of injustice and recently-turned activist.

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