Is taking drugs a human right?
Some peers and MPs in Europe think so.
Drug users have a human right to feed their habit, MPs and peers have said, as they claimed international conventions banning drugs need to be reformed.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform said in a new report that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the rights to “private and family life” – could be deployed by drug users who face prosecution.
Regulation of banned substances “needs to reflect the supremacy of human rights conventions”, the report said.
It was the latest in a series of controversial proposals by the committee which two years ago said heroin and cocaine should be decriminalised, and less harmful drugs such as cannabis should be sold openly by licensed dealers.
“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,” it said.
“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.” Read more »