It’s an age old question. Does smoking weed really make you paranoid or is it the chance of getting your door kicked in by the cops that’s actually messing with you buzz? The Constitutional Court decision this week that police searches without warrants are illegal is another win for drug reformists.
The nearly half of ton of hard drugs found at the Kenilworth home of Grace Kunjana is the case that found itself at the Constitutional Court after being referred by the minister of police‚ director of public prosecutions in the Western Cape and minister of justice. Kunjana had contested that the search was made without a warrant and therefore unconstitutional, something that the court has agreed with.
It’s not all good news though, as those who were bust in warrant-less searches before the court’s order cannot rely on this change in the law to escape their charges. Where things get interesting is whether from now on the folk who get bust for anything in a manner involving a search by police will be able to get off scot-free if there was not a search warrant in force at the time.
The jam also sets in when you start going through the possible scenarios in your head. As a starting point you’ll probably think that your home is safe from enthusiastic law enforcers, which is probably correct. The dynamics regarding personal, vehicle and baggage searches are where things start to get tripped up when trying to understand how far the limit of the law will now be.
If on the ground cops even take stopping this unconstitutional practice to heart is another thing all together. So don’t start setting up that dank hydro grow in the guest bedroom or carrying your bong around in you cars cupholder just yet. Particularly because at official provincial or nationally approved road blocks, police officers might have warrants to legally search vehicles and even conduct full body searches if required.
This Constitutional Court verdict is certainly a game changer and the proof will be how prepared you are to now “Just say NO” to the boys in blue at your front door.