JOHANNESBURG - It’s been a year since the historic judgment decriminalising the private use and cultivation of cannabis but activists say they still face persecution from authorities.
South Africa’s cannabis industry appears on the verge of a major take-off as international companies set their sights on a new market.
The government hopes to cash in too – with the Eastern Cape taking the lead.
The activist who spearheaded the legalisation campaign said the country still has a long way to go.
Gareth Prince joined other cannabis activists on the steps of the Constitutional Court last year when they declared victory.
Since then activists have held a cannabis expo, and the Eastern Cape premier has started exploring how rural communities can benefit from the industry.
But Prince sais he's experienced only more intimidation and faces charges for possessing cannabis oil.
“What that means is that they tell people that your right to autonomy is limited to the fact that you can only smoke cannabis. When the reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t want to smoke cannabis but want to get the benefits of cannabis from the oil,” said Prince.
Prince has called on the National Prosecuting Authority to expunge the criminal records of people convicted for cannabis possession.
Meanwhile, the amount of cannabis one person may legally possess remains contested, and will likely be decided in court.