The following is a bullet point summary of the do’s and don’ts in case of cops and what to know in advance if you have a relationship with Cannabis. Please share this far and wide. If you or somebody you know have had an arrest situation with the police, no matter when it occurred, please report it by clicking the red button at the end of this page.
While the state is dragging its feet with legislation that is getting further behind since 2018, it is best that you memorise the following:
There are no quantities or limit’s in our law pertaining to how much Cannabis you can possess, grow or consume in private.
The SAPS will still arrest and intimidate you for ANY amount, so KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Avoiding arrest should be a very high priority in your life. That said, it is important to know that once you face the police, they will most likely lie and fish for bribes or play games. It is therefore vital that YOU know the rules.
If you are sure of your case, it is better to get the arrest paperwork filled and receive your case nr and court date than to play cat and mouse with corrupt police. You should appear before a magistrate within 48 hours, or they could mess with you for years.
According to the police directives we list here, they should not keep you in the cells for Cannabis AT ALL, and you CAN fly locally with personal stash.
Always be polite to the cops and NEVER pay a fine or sign admission of guilt at the police station. There is no crime in merely possessing any amount of Cannabis in a private space.
Bail is money you put down as a way of saying ‘I will return’ – if the police grant you bail, make sure you sign for that money.
Your rights are all based on privacy. Growing, possessing and consuming any amount in a private space is legal. You CANNOT be charged with just possession!
It is difficult to prove dealing without an undercover operation involving marked banknotes or photographic evidence. There is NO QUANTITY of Cannabis that can indicate dealing. No matter what the cops may say to you.
Without a warrant the police are not allowed to enter your private space. Should they do so, THEY are breaking the law. A warrant must have your name, address, today’s date and must be signed by your local area magistrate.
Magistrates don’t issue warrants for the SAPS to arrest stoners.
At the moment, unless they can prove dealing, the court will most likely dismiss your case.
Never trust random shark lawyers that hang around the court or police station. Ask a friend or us to refer to one rather.
If the court wants to put you on trial, it is your constitutional right to ask for postponement of the matter at your first appearance. This will allow you time to get a lawyer or contact us for assistance.
The following four documents stipulate your rights as a Cannabis user in South Africa. We have often advised folks to print and keep these near their grow, stash or in their car, or take them to court and give copies to the prosecutor and judge. It is often the first time they become aware of them!
For links to the documents mentioned above, your rights and Arrest FAQ, scan or click this code:
or click the button below to report an arrest: