Social and public health implications of the legalisation of recreational cannabis: A literature review

Kebogile Mokwena*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: After many years of legal struggles for the legalisation of recreational use of cannabis, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled in favour of the applicants in September 2018. Although the ruling issued caution regarding the social challenges accompanying this legalisation, it did not address how the country would deal with the societal consequences of this ruling. Aim: The aim of this article was to discuss the social and public health implications of the legalisation of recreational cannabis on South Africa. Methods: Literature review on the social, health and legal impacts of legalisation of cannabis, considering experiences of other countries that have legalised cannabis. Results: The legalisation brings a range of significant negative consequences, which include an expected increase in the number of users and the subsequent undesirable effects on the physical, mental and social health of communities. Conclusion: In terms of financial, infrastructural and human resources, South Africa cannot afford the consequences of the legalisation of recreational cannabis. Poor communities, children and the youth will carry the brunt of the scourge of cannabis use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAfrican Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Cannabis legislation
  • Constitutional court
  • Health outcomes
  • Injuries
  • Legal system
  • Recreational use
  • Social outcomes

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