South Africa Highest Court legalizes cannabis use

South Africa's top court rules private and personal cannabis use legal in climax case; public use and sale remains illegal.

Mordechai Sones ,

Cannabis in South Africa
Cannabis in South Africa

South Africa's highest court has legalized cannabis use by adults in private places, reports BBC.

In a joint ruling, judges unanimously legalized growing marijuana for private consumption.

South Africa's government opposed legalization, arguing the plant was "harmful" to people's health. BBC says it has not yet commented on the ruling, which is binding.

It will remain illegal to use cannabis in public, and to sell or supply it.

Three cannabis users facing prosecution brought the case, arguing the ban "intrudes unjustifiably" into their "private spheres".

People cheered in the public gallery and chanted "Weed are free now" when the Constitutional Court gave its landmark ruling.

Demonstrators hold placards during march calling for cannabis legalization