A group of MPs and Peers has been criticised for saying that drug users could use human rights legislation to stop them being prosecuted.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform released a report saying that the rights to “private and family life”, under the European Convention on Human Rights, could be used by those who possess, purchase or grow their own drugs.
The group also said that models to regulate cannabis, for example the Dutch-style “coffee shops” or introducing a government-run monopoly, should be trialled and evaluated.
Open the floodgates
Labour MP Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the group was misinterpreting the intentions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“One exemption, even though minor, could open the floodgates.
“Human rights legislation is not designed to be used in this way”, he said.
And anti-drugs campaigner Mary Brett, of Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: “This is diabolical. Of course drugs injure other people.
“People can get psychotic when they take cannabis and can get really violent. We see the harm it does to families. Also, people steal to get money to buy drugs. That injures others”, she added.
Last month Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, announced that his officers will turn a blind eye to people who grow cannabis. Three other police forces have since signalled they will do the same.
According to reports, people who grow the drug for their own consumption in Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey can expect to be let off with a caution.
The announcement by Ron Hogg was roundly criticised by MPs, the press, campaigners and doctors.