UK parliament members argue drug consumption is a human right
“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home, and his correspondence.”
Taken from Article 8 in the European Convention on Human Rights, British parliament members (MPs) are using this decree as a basis for their argument in favor of drug decriminalization. According to a 30-page report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, regulation of illegal substances “needs to reflect the supremacy of human rights conventions,” and that all international conventions pertaining to them should be reformed.
The report is the latest in controversial efforts by the group to ameliorate drug policy through the fostering of an “experimental ethos,” which they pose is a better approach to stymieing worldwide crime and addiction rates. The current standard for relentless prohibition that was set by the United Nations in 1961 has failed, the group argues. More importantly, members of the group concluded in their study that citizens keeping small amounts of drugs for personal consumption does not harm other people’s humans rights directly or indirectly, and punishing these people who are otherwise contributing members of society is not a valid way to go about policing the drug market.
“When the existing unbalanced prohibitionist response to drug market activities breaches human rights, then adjustments must be made.”
In addition to calling for human rights as a pillar against current standards of drug control, writers of the report offer a variety of other suggestions pertaining to decriminalization as well. Piggybacking off earlier recommendations which included decriminalizing cocaine and heroin, parliament members advised England to mimic the Dutch system of marijuana regulation, allowing the drug to be sold by licensed dealers and consumed in “coffee shop” type environments. Additionally, they pointed out that several countries, including states in the U.S., are moving away from prohibition and Britain should follow suit.
A spokesperson for the government commented that there are no plans of decriminalization or to take any of the report’s suggestions at this time.
Via: The Telegraph