Paul-Michael (“PM”) has been admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, with right of appearance, since 2013, when he accepted the brief of the now-famous ‘Dagga Couple’ to assist them in decriminalising cannabis use, possession and trade in the country. Apart from this landmark human rights work, he continued to practice as a general and commercial litigator for a large law firm in Johannesburg, often appearing in Court himself, until his departure to pursue other opportunities and lifestyles in October of 2021. In his former role, he contributed to many matters that resulted in reported judgments in favour of his clients.
With its genesis in a cannabis assignment, written to complete his law degree in 2009, his dedicated cannabis and entheogen practice and advocacy afforded him the honour of appearing in the Constitutional Court in 2018 and noting its famous “privacy judgment” (which marked the effective start of meaningful drug reform in the country). P-M has since advised numerous local and international clients on wherever in the cannabis value chain that they may wish to establish themselves, made written and oral submissions to Parliament on more humane drug laws, assisted government, otherwise engaged with regulators, lectured and interviewed on the topic, been invited to steering committees, handled other cannabis-related litigation, and even presented on drug policy at the United Nations in Vienna.
Now practicing and consulting to Cullinan and Associates remotely from Kwa-Zulu Natal, he is leading a High Court (ultimately Constitutional Court) challenge to decriminalise the multiple legitimate uses of psilocybin, and is trying his hand generally at progressing Earth jurisprudence, while learning the ropes of being an environmental lawyer, in addition to his general human rights work – which he considers as entirely complimentary, given that humanity and nature are (inseparably) one and the same.