Pubdate: Fri, 30 Mar 2001
Source: Colchester Evening Gazette (UK)
Copyright: 2001, Quicksilver Media
Author: Don Barnard


LEGALISING cannabis for medicinal reasons is problematic,  (Gazette Comment 
22 March).

Admittedly, natural cannabis-based medicines are not available because the 
plant is illegal under the Misuse of Drug Act 1971,  and not an approved 

Consequently, this prohibits patients growing or possessing cannabis for 
personal use. It also prevents doctors being allowed to prescribe cannabis 
based medicines.

However, doctors can prescribe Cesamet (synthetic cannabis) to treat nausea 
and vomiting brought on by Cytoxic drugs?

Notwithstanding, from October 2000 when the Human Rights Act was 
incorporated into UK law many of the laws on drugs possession (there is not 
a separate case for cannabis under law) have become outdated and 
incompatible to the European Convention of Human rights and Fundamental 

Article 8:1 says: Everyone has the right to respect for his private and 
family life, his home and his correspondence.

All of the justifications in Article 8:2 can be cited as a defence for the 
status quo, but it is doubtful whether any of them will do the job. Many of 
them are not relevant or, like the prevention of crime and the economic 
well being of the country, tend to favour legalisation.

Section 6 of the Act says: "No public Authority shall act in a way 
incompatible with the convention rights."

This means the state now has to justify it's actions - after the offence 
has been established under criminal law it must now be asked if proceeding 
with it is compatible with the rights of the individual under Human Right Law.

To any logical thinking person using 'two-tiered legal reasoning' this 
should be enough to illustrates the government no longer has the right to 
stop people cultivating or possessing cannabis for their own medication or 
recreational use in the privacy of their homes?

Don Barnard, Legalise Cannabis Alliance,
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