But in a unanimous judgment read by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the Constitutional Court decriminalized home consumption, saying "the use of cannabis must be for the personal consumption of the adult".
The declaration of invalidity has been suspended for two years, to allow Parliament the opportunity to correct the Constitutional defects in the Drug Trafficking Act, and the Medicines Control Act.
The Cannabis Development Council of South Africa welcomed the ruling, and called on the government to drop charges against people found in possession of the drug.
He says the users of alcohol and tobacco are allowed to use these substances however they wish.
The Constitutional Court has delivered its long-awaited judgment on the legal status of private marijuana use in South Africa, declaring it legal within the confines of a home.
Celebrations broke out in the court, which was packed with marijuana advocates and members of South Africa's Rastafarian community.
Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke‚ known as the "Dagga Couple", joined the case, and asked the court to strike down laws banning the use‚ cultivation and sale of marijuana.
"We have used cannabis to treat anxiety, colic in children and as an antiseptic in secret for many years", said Phephsile Maseko, of the Traditional Healers Organisation.
Thesouthafrican.com reported that although private use and growth for personal use is now legal it remains illegal to smoke dagga outside of a private setting and dealing or selling dagga still remains a prosecutable offence.
"The judgment does not specify how many grams of cannabis can a person use or have in private". "Ultimately, it will be the court that will decide whether the person possessed the cannabis for personal consumption".
The news comes following claims that Coca-Cola is in "serious talks" with a cannabis production company to make a cannabis-infused drink.