Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Thembisa Waetjen, professor of history at the University of Johannesburg, and is derived from her presentation at the Cannabis: Global Histories conference, which was held from April 19-20, 2018, at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. In it, she argues that international cannabis criminalization was, in part, the result of an appeal made by the South African government in 1923. But what lay behind that appeal? And what were its consequences, locally?

On 31 March last year, the Western Cape High Court of South Africa, in the case of Garreth Prince, ruled as constitutional the personal use of cannabisby an adult in a private dwelling, along with the possession, purchase or cultivation associated with such use. Reflecting liberalizing trends in other parts of the world, this outcome signaled a shift in South Africa’s punitive drugs policy.

Screenshot 2018-07-10 at 10.00.35 AM Thembisa Waetjen presents at the Cannabis: Global Histories…

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