Recreational equality re cannabis for people in Northern Ireland
  • Petitioned Edwin Poots

This petition was delivered to:

Minister of Health for Northern Ireland
Edwin Poots

Recreational equality re cannabis for people in Northern Ireland

    1. James Torrens-Spence
    2. Petition by

      James Torrens-Spence

      Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Cannabis has a long history of medical, recreational and sacramental use in many parts of the world. The legislation that is in place (here in Northern Ireland and the UK), to regulate against misuse of drugs, is designed so that the Minister can make it lawful for persons to produce, cultivate, possess and supply controlled drugs using the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act's legislative powers in sections 7 and 22.

Failure (by the Minister) to exercise these powers, whilst at the same time excluding the users of more dangerous drugs than cannabis from the punishingly restrictive measures of the Act, creates a situation or circumstance whereby some people are treated less favourably than others on recreational grounds.

Whatever recreational activity we engage in, as human beings, in order to alter our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, can only appreciated courtesy of the biochemical activity inherent in our own brains and central nervous systems. So, taking drugs to alter our biochemistry must be assessed in the same scale of risk to ourselves or others as are all other recreational activities. Any less favourable treatment, that is not in proportion to a rationally based scale of harm is, by definition, recreational discrimination and this is unlawful by the legal protections given to Articles 1, 9 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights (and Fundamental Freedoms) by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Moreover, recreational use of drugs is a matter consequential on the state of peoples' health, and the Northern Ireland Minister of Health's options of goverance, re the powers vested in him under sections 7 and 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, are themselves governed by equality of health legislation in sections 2 and 13 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009.

Surely, on this basis, our Minister of Health has no option but to make, and the Northern Ireland Assembly has no option but to approve, a new Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) designating cannabis as a drug to which section 7(4) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 does not apply and sections 7(1), 7(2) and 7(3) do apply as regards cannabis use.

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    1. Reached 750 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • David Brooks AUSTRALIA
      • 9 months ago

      A matter of human rights. How can nature be bad?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • heather gladman MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
      • 9 months ago

      The law is the crime.

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    • Rob Dalziel BURTON UPON TRENT, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 9 months ago

      Because the cannabis laws or unjust to all users. There is no victim so how can there be a crime.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Danny Boyle LETTERKENNY, IRELAND
      • 9 months ago

      People have the right to choose.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tom Lloyd CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 9 months ago

      Prohibition of drugs causes more harm than good.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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