Know Your Rights 2020
This article was originally published on 21 Jan 2019 and was updated on 20 June 2020.
2020 has turned out to be an interesting thing and who’d have thought that we’d still be telling people: “Know your rights!”?! It is now more important than ever to know where you stand with the law, because it turns out that most police don’t even know your rights (or take advantage of them) – especially when it comes to their favourite, easy targets: the Cannabis community.
What was originally our Join the Q project, has since evolved into #StopTheCops – honestly, someone has to! Here we gather stories of ordinary citizens, treated and made to feel like criminals, because of their involvement with dagga. We often found that this situation could have gone differently if the now-criminal knew their rights at the time of the bust / arrest.
This is why we cannot emphasise enough how important it is to Know your rights!
Our #CannabisCanHelpSouthAfrica campaign has not only focused on gathering signatures for our petition to re-legalise dagga, it is also about educating our community and empowering each other to strive for fair regulations for ALL South Africans!
One of the bizarre thoughts that went through our minds as Judge Zondo read out his landmark judgement in September last year was “Oh good, we can close down our JoinTheQ project and we’ll never have to write another version of our Know Your Rights booklet again!”
It wasn’t to be. We’ve just completed VERSION ELEVEN!
What started out in 2011 as “The Puffer’s Guide to (NOT) Being Arrested” grew from a home printed booklet to a slickly designed pamphlet, a dedicated website and a staffed project helping those in trouble with the law.
JoinTheQ was born in 2013 out of the fact that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. Over the years we helped 107 South Africans achieve a stay in prosecution pending the outcome of The Trial of the Plant. Those stays in prosecution are still in force as The Dagga Couple’s Case is not over yet.
You can still be arrested for Cannabis in South Africa. Even for small amounts for your personal use in your private spaces. Even for personal cultivation in your private space. It will take a very long time for the police to stop harassing us, profiling us and locking us up in cages. However, there have been many cases, since the judgement, where the police or magistrate has dismissed the case because it is clear that the accused knows his/her rights.
Our latest booklet is available to read, download and print HERE. You can also order hard copies as part of our Info Pack (also includes stickers, a Desired Outcomes discussion document, etc) at the Fields of Green for ALL shop.
We strongly recommend that you also keep a copy of the Constitutional Court Judgement at home and in your car. Read it and know what it says.
Be safe out there. DO NOT SMOKE IN PUBLIC and we still recommend that your paranoia keeps you safe. We are not quite there yet but promise to keep fighting until we are ALL free to use, possess, cultivate and trade in our favourite plant. Fields of Green for ALL!
Thank you to our FGA Affiliates who help to make our ongoing content creation possible!
SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT LEGALISATION
The cops came over and offered to buy weed from me(under cover) then they came into my home after me showing them my weed, it was a trap..they took everything I had and money I had at home..took me for a drive and asked for a bribe then let me go and never came back.. because of wanting to sell to them as they asked..did I or do I have any rights at that point? Or was I just in a bad situation..
Brandon. You can open a case against the cops at a different police station. Never bribe the police. That is a crime in itself. You should know your rights and never let the police into your private space without a warrant. https://fieldsofgreenforall.org.za/join-the-queue/
My son is being harassed by the police at the moment , I need to have cbd in my home as my dog has a tumor and I believe this is a miracle drug
Sorry about the police harassment Jennifer. It is something we are very familiar with. Please call Charl on our Dagga Arrest Helpline (0631740938) to let him know where you are and what’s going on. We hope we can help because you are FULLY within your rights to have Cannabis in ANY FORM in your home. All the best…
Employers should be doing saliva tests as a more accurate indication of possible intoxication and not a urine test that only proves the use of cannabis which is legal in your own private property. We are facing the same dilema at my workplace. Some of us has lost money due to being suspended untill you pass your urine test. We are getting our union involved to refer the cases to the CCMA.
Hi Donovan, This is probably the most serious issue we are facing at the moment. We have tried over the years to get people who are fired because of Cannabis to go to the CCMA but nobody ever followed it through. We will support you and your union wherever possible so please contact us via the webform so we can discuss the way forward. Strength!
I need advice…..im having trouble at work….with thc in my blood….
In the long term, the ConCourt decision trumps your work contract but, in the short term, you signed a contract that allows an employee to test your bodily fluids. It is a very difficult situation to advise because we need someone to go to the CCMA with this issue so that we can have a legal precedent. If you are fired you have the right to present your case at the CCMA and you have a Constitutional Court judgement to back you up. All the best, sorry there is no immediate solution :(
You guys ROCK!!