WITH INFOGRAPHIC: Activists to protest new cannabis legislation

Marijuana lobby group raises concerns about the signing of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill by President Cyril Ramaphosa at their annual indaba.

The Marijuana Board of South Africa (MBOSA) wants to delay the signing of the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill as they argue that in its current form it fails to meet their needs and lacks clarity about uses.    

Secretary Ras Thapelo Khunou Addressing attendees of the Indaba. Photo: Ane Davey

These concerns were raised at the sixth Marijuana Friendly Indaba, an event hosted on Human Rights Day, March 21, by MBOSA, at the Kempton Park Council Chamber, which allowed activists and enthusiast to ventilate their concerns. 

The group plans to host a nationwide protest on the 4 May 2024, just 25 days before the national presidential election. 

Beyond concerns, the indaba had a panel of speakers facilitating conversations on cannabis cultivation, consumption and community empowerment.  

A range of issues also came from the floor, including but not limited to: the history of cannabis in South Africa, the economic empowerment of traditional cannabis farmers and indigenous communities and building relationships between community stakeholders like traditional healers and the South African Police Service.  

Chairperson of the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa, Ras Garreth Prince, wrote a letter to the President Cyril Ramaphosa to reject the bill. In it, he urges Ramaphosa to not sign the bill, and send it back to parliament.  

 “The current iteration of the bill falls short of constitutional standards and fails to address the legitimate interests of the cannabis community,” emphasised Prince.  

The letter written by him was accepted by the Indaba, as confirmed by Ras Thapelo Khunou, secretary of MBOSA, during the resolutions of the indaba.  

The organisers of the protest, Dave Sewell and Candice Nel extended the invitation to all, “it’s inclusive of everyone, nobody’s excluded,”  said the pair.

Bodies like MBOSA and the CDCSA are working hard to make the herb safely accessible and well-regulated for all South African citizens who consume cannabis for recreational, medical or religious purposes.