The legal battle between The Haze Club (Pty) Ltd and the Minister of Police in 2021 has shed light on an issue that has long been frustrating for cannabis enthusiasts: access to private growing spaces. In The Haze Club (Pty) Ltd and Others v Minister of Police and Others (Case No 2101/2021) (Western Cape High Court), the Court held that the grow club model, which the Haze Club had proposed in order to provide members with private spaces to cultivate their own cannabis for personal consumption, was not consistent with the Prince Judgement.
The applicants had argued that the process is akin to a gardening service and that the Prince Judgement created an irrational disparity for those without access to private spaces to grow cannabis. However, the court rejected this argument and held that the prohibition of cannabis as provided for in the Drugs Act is indicative that the private place where cannabis had to be cultivated in the same private place where it had to be consumed by an adult. Thus, it is not legally possible to take cannabis offsite in exchange for money by using communal services.
The decision of the court has set a precedent, and it is an unfortunate reality that the current law discriminates against those who cannot farm cannabis themselves. However, this is not the end of the road. It is possible that the law could be changed in the future to provide more equitable access to private growing spaces. Until then, members of the cannabis culture must continue to fight for their rights and work together to create a more equitable and just society.
Read the full case summary here.