South Africa's highest court passed a law on Tuesday legalising possession of the drug. Although opposed by the government, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of full decriminalisation for adults. However, it will still be illegal to smoke in public places, and the police can still arrest people suspected of selling cannabis.

The move comes after Pro-Cannabis campaigners Jeremy Acton, and Garreth Prince bought the case to the court asking for it to consider legalising Marijuana across the country.

The appeal stated that the ban on cannabis violated section 14 of the national constitution which states that all citizens have a right to privacy.

On the 18th September, the court agreed that the drug should be legal, although with some limitations.

The BBC reported, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as saying, "It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption."

Celebrations as South Africa legalises marijuana

Pro-Cannabis campaigners celebrated both inside and outside the court when the ruling was passed, with users smoking pipes and marijuana 'joints' in celebration in the streets.

The move comes after the establishment in 2009 of 'The Dagga Party,' a political movement whose main aim was the legalisation of the drug.

Known locally as 'dagga,' cannabis grows around the country with many South Africans regular users of the drug.

According to the BBC, Jeremy Acton, leader of The Dagga Party, criticised the move saying the new laws don't go far enough and that the sale of cannabis should be included in the move.

However, the court has given the government 24 months to adjust legislation in line with the move, meaning users of the drug could also eventually consume cannabis in public.

The growth of legal marijuana

The move makes South Africa only the second country in the world after Uruguay where the possession of cannabis is not an arrestable offence.

Cannabis is decriminalised in many countries including the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland, and legal in several American states including California and Colorado.

In April this year, Zimbabwe passed a ruling that legalised medical cannabis. Many countries on the continent and globally rule marijuana as an illegal substance; its use is often tolerated.

Although many greeted the move with elation, there are still many who oppose the court's ruling including public health officials and police departments.