Dagga Private Clubs and the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill of 2020

By |Published On: August 19th, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

One of the first questions that we received at Fields of Green for ALL after the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill was released was: “So, how does this affect Dagga Private Clubs?” Good question.

The first line of the Bill says that the purpose of the Bill is to “respect the right to privacy of an adult person to possess Cannabis plant cultivation material; to cultivate a prescribed quantity of Cannabis plants; to possess a prescribed quantity of cannabis; and to consume Cannabis.” Forgive our little snort at the “respect the right to privacy” part. The truth is that this is not the purpose of the Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to control us.

The absence of any mention of Dagga Private Clubs shouts silently at us. Not that we’re surprised – surely government has no idea how to manage these clubs or what actually happens there and therefore it’s better to just say nothing at all and stick to a simple, but impractical solution: plant counting.

The good news is that the right to consume Cannabis in a private place (which means any place, including a building, house, room, shed, hut, tent, mobile home, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the public does not have access as of right) is still ours. In essence then, this means that Dagga Private Clubs is still a viable and realistic solution that will probably survive long past all these ridiculous Bills have come and gone.

A possible implication for the clubs is the amount that an adult is allowed to possess at any given time. This means that memberships will need to be tied to specific quantities supplied, in order to ensure that members do not have more than the allowed amount at their private dwelling. If your club grows plants for members, the club will be limited to growing the amounts of plants per member that is prescribed in the Bill, i.e. four flowering plants per member.

But what about the part that says you may give away Cannabis as a gift? Well, firstly, please show us the person who is willing to give away 100g of dried Cannabis for free before we dive into this. Growing Cannabis, especially high quality, sticky-icky, lank dank Cannabis, costs money and time and no-one should be expected to do that for free. That is why growers are compensated for their labour, expenses and expertise within the club structure – and that should not change.

The most important part to remember about this Bill is that it is not law yet. This is a proposed Bill that needs to go through a very long and dragged out process before it can be implemented. We’re sitting ready and waiting for when this Bill opens for public comment – the plan is to break their servers with all our input – and yours!

Our plan is to create a formalised structure according to which clubs can operate. We are not passing off the club model as legal. It is still illegal to buy or sell weed and that must be remembered! This is why opening a Dagga Private Club can simply not be about distributing Cannabis legally. A Dagga Private Club should be a community enrichment and enhancement project. It should be about providing quality and traceable Cannabis to the club’s community in a safe manner. It’s about eliminating the need to meet someone late at night on a deserted street to get something that might qualify as Cannabis. It’s about taking care of each other and creating a much needed safe space.

Dagga Private Clubs are written into our Manifesto – the document that government should be using to determine new laws relating to Cannabis. We’ve done all the work for them, gotten input from experts around the world and collated it all together in one reader-friendly document. We know that this can work – we just need them to see it!

If you believe in Fields of Green for ALL’s vision about Dagga Private Clubs, please support us to help make this a reality. Our GoFundMe campaign will help us raise funds to finish this document before 18 September and carry on the fight in court to make sure that we don’t fall prey to ridiculous laws such as contained in the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill of 2020.

Please support us so that we can create a safe and green world – for ALL of us!

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!

Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!


About the Author: Marleen Theunissen

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

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  1. John Hunt August 27, 2020 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Hi, any idea where you can find/download basic “private club membership” application form-membership form. Thanks, really appreciate all your efforts.

  2. Luke August 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    What about growing and cultivation of hemp industry?

    • Marleen Theunissen August 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      This post dealt with Dagga Private Clubs specifically. We’re all for the development of the hemp industry, but our main focus is to make sure that individuals have their human rights respected as it relates to the consumption and cultivation of Cannabis.

    • NDUDUZO August 26, 2020 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for the information, how do I sell if I wanna sell weed?

      • Marleen Theunissen September 5, 2020 at 1:22 pm - Reply

        Hi Luke, it is still illegal to sell weed. However, you could start a private club if you’re interested in taking care of your community. Take a look here:https://fieldsofgreenforall.org.za/how-do-i-start-a-dagga-private-club/

        • Franko September 10, 2020 at 7:58 am - Reply

          We see one of the private clubs giving back to the community in a form of plants and its members need to bring in items for feed a child. That’s what community enrichment is all about and giving this opportunity to greedy people is going to ruin what we all working towards! We need a regulatory body to stop or curb corrupt clubs from making it more risky for other clubs! When can we establish something like this

          • Marleen Theunissen September 13, 2020 at 11:08 pm

            Hi Franko, check our Manifesto – here we talk about a Cannabis OmBUDsman, which would be the ideal regulatory body. The biggest aim is remove the duty of regulating Cannabis from the police – we have plenty proof that they are uninformed and inconsistent with their actions!

  3. noob_noob_4_2o August 20, 2020 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I was thinking about this since the bill came out, it seems like the government wants to work there way around the growing in a private space since they changed it to a home and a homes definition are, “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” which would make the growing in a private space not legit anymore but that would be sad indeed if it comes down to that.

    • Marleen Theunissen August 21, 2020 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      In the Bill itself, it’s important to note the following definitions (according to them):
      “dwelling” means any part of a formal or informal structure that is occupied as a residence, or any part of a structure or outdoor living area that is accessory to, and used principally for the purposes of, a residence;
      “possess in private” for purposes of section 2(1)(c) and (e), means to keep, store, transport or be in control of cannabis or a cannabis plant, respectively, in a manner that conceals it from public view;
      “private place” means any place, including a building, house, room, shed, hut, tent, mobile home, caravan, boat or land or any portion thereof, to which the public does not have access as of right.

      There has been no change relating to the private space or space where you may cultivate.

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