‘Dagga couple’ set for a legal battle
Plea to join case as friends of the court
The “dagga couple”‚ who are embroiled in their own court fight over legalisation of cannabis‚ want to join a second legal battle.
Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs‚ whose case in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has been postponed until next year‚ this week filed an application to the Constitutional Court to be admitted as friends of the court in another case.
The state is appealing against a finding in March in the Western Cape High Court that the cultivation and private use of dagga should be legalised and, in her affidavit to the ConCourt, Clarke said she and Stobbs wanted to intervene in the public interest.
The Cape Town case was brought by Rastafarian activist Gareth Prince and the Dagga Party led by Jeremy Acton‚ and in its judgment the court found the ban on personal use of dagga by adults in their homes was an infringement of their right to privacy.
The court gave parliament 24 months to amend the Drugs and Trafficking Act and Medicines and Related Substance Control Act.
Clarke said in her affidavit that if they were admitted as friends of the court they would argue that clauses in the two acts were based on “manifestly impermissible racist and moralistic justifications”.
The case brought by Prince and Acton was “unique in that the matter is one of significant public interest and importance‚ invoking a consideration of a vast number of constitutional rights whilst‚ at the same time‚ all of the protagonists on one side of the argument are not represented by counsel”.
The couple, whose case is postponed until next year, say they want to intervene in another case in the public interest.