Taking drugs is one of our human rights, say MPs
Is this Lord Sewel’s doing?
It’s your human right to take drugs according to a fun-loving gang of MPs.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform want to use human rights legislation to completely decriminalise drug use.
This would mean no more convictions for possessing or even selling weed, MD, Ket or coke.
In a new report, the MPs suggest Article 8 of the European Human Rights laws which outlines the right to “private and family life” could be used as a defence by those caught with illegal substances.
The report says drug laws needed to “reflect the supremacy of human rights conventions” and suggests that as long as drug taking does not harm others, it should not be a criminal offence.
And they say the “blanket prohibition” policy approach has failed.
The pro-legalisation group has a number of high profile members, including former Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.
Also involved in former Labour leader Lord Kinnock and the former general of the MI5 Baroness Manningham-Buller.
And more leading political figures have called for drugs to be legal.
Baroness Meacher said gaining supply over drugs would make us safer, and blamed dealers for peddling harder drugs.
She told Russia Today: “Our only concern is the safety of young people.
“When you consider that cannabis is so much safer than alcohol or tobacco, it does seem rather ridiculous to have tobacco and alcohol completely legal, and then no controls at all over the supply of cannabis, which leads young people to take the more dangerous varieties.”
But Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, said the successful use of the Article 8 defence would “open the flood gates” for people using the legislation to avoid prosecution against all kinds of crimes.
He added: “This is novel as far as decriminalisation is concerned,” he said. “One exemption, though minor, could open the floodgates. Human rights legislation is not designed to be used in this way.”
Mary Brett from the Cannabis Skunk Sense charity also criticised the report, hitting out at their “diabolical” argument.
She said: “Of course drugs injure other people.
“People can get psychotic when they take cannabis and can get violent. We can see the harm it does to families.
“Also, people steal to get money to buy drugs – that injures others.”
The report by the group said: “For European countries the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Article 8, could be invoked in support of the argument that possession or purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use, particularly in small quantities, do not injure other people’s rights either directly or indirectly and therefore should not be criminalised.
“The interpretation of the Drug Control Conventions must take full account of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the impact of current policies in human terms.
“This applies fully to the response to the production, trafficking and sale of controlled drugs.
“When the existing unbalanced prohibitionist response to drug market activities breaches human rights, then adjustments must be made.”
The group also said regulating the weed market should be “encouraged” to keep up with the US trade.
They said: “Depending upon the results of the evaluations, consideration may then be given to treaty reform to make appropriate provision for regulation of cannabis, and possibly also for other controlled substances.”
A Government spokesman said it had “no intention of decriminalising or legalising drugs”.