Many of us in the Cannabis space are reasonably cautious about what is presently happening with the draft Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill (B19-2020). This is partly because the third session of Public Comments hosted by the Portfolio Committee of the Department for Justice & Correctional Services (May 2023) featured several mentions of how the Bill needs to be enacted before the 6th Parliament ends.
The other part of our caution relates to the of the Bill that has been doing the rounds. Only recently confirmed for its validity, this Working Document holds a great deal of promise for the next few steps in unleashing Dagga for ALL. However, it maintains some unnecessarily strict measures and a few ambiguities that will likely lead to some benefiting more than others when the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill is indeed enacted.
This is why it is imperative that we make our voices heard one last time before the Bill moves on to the National Council of Provinces and then its Presidential Signature.
While we are understandably cautious, we are also feeling a bit more optimistic. The Cannabis Phakisa Action Lab helped prove that our policymakers at least have an interest in unleashing Cannabis – to some extent that is.
The recent – albeit highly delayed – responses to the prior Public Comments to the Portfolio Committee also reflect that raising our ire can indeed inspire workable change.
The fourth round of Public Comments should happen somewhere toward the end of October or early November. Submissions to present must be in no later than 13 October 2023. According to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group, Submissions can be emailed to Mr V Ramaano at [email protected]
As we prepare our submissions at Fields of Green for ALL, we stand fast in our resolve to hold our policymakers and law enforcers at every level accountable in how they treat ALL South Africans sharing a relationship with the Plant.