‘Dagga couple’ waits to hear ruling on evidence, experts

Pretoria – A couple’s trial to have dagga legalised for use, cultivation and distribution is yet to begin in the North Gauteng High Court.

The State, after arguing about the rights to live-stream the trial for two days, has brought an application arguing that the evidence summaries were irrelevant and were compiled incorrectly.

It also argued that the evidence contained articles not written by experts who were in court to give testimony.

The State also argued that the use of medicinal cannabis was already presented in of Parliament in the form of the Medical Innovation Bill by late IFP MP Mario Ambrosini.

Advocate Don Mahon for the couple, Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, said the application was “vexatious” and prejudicial and asked the court to make an order awarding punitive costs to his clients.

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Judge Natvarial Ranchod heard both sides of the arguments, commenting that he could not make a ruling on whether the said evidence was relevant until it had been presented in court.

Ranchod is expected to rule on the application tomorrow.

Stobbs said this was a delaying tactic as they had experts flown in from the United States that may leave before they were able to give testimony.

“They can’t take the stand. We have been severely compromised because the State is, as advocate Don Mahon says, being vexatious and stalling. We are asking for costs because we have to send him home and then we will have to bring him back one day,” said Stobbs after court proceedings.

“This is what the State is doing. They are prejudicing us in the bank, basically.”

Stobbs, however, was pleased with Wednesday’s events, saying that he believes the State was put in their place.

“We are going to go away and smoke quite a substantial amount of cannabis now and then we will be back in court for day four. I’m sorry if I have red eyes tomorrow.” The trial continues on Thursday.

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