Despite The UK having signed the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it took over 50 years to incorporate Human Rights into British law. Until the Human Rights Act of 1999, the only recourse for an individual or group to take action against the Government was through the often long drawn-out processes of the European Courts.
After the UK introduced The Human Rights Act, the direct avenue to the European Courts has been delayed by the necessity that the UK courts deal with the case first and the European Court has become the last resort.
The two Articles of Human Rights that mostly concern cannabis growers and users are those recognising our Right to a Private Life and or Right to believe and practice what we choose.
Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights:
(1) "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance."
(2) "Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morale, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
Article 8 grants a person the Right to a Private Life: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."
There is nothing that says the choice of one's religion or belief can be limited to those approved of by any Government, Court or other authority – that's why they used the word “freedom.” There is nothing about what one does in private having to be with the approval of any authority, subject to the same criteria as Article 9
The law is quite specific: Governments and other authorities only have toe right to invade or interfere with our private life or the practice of one's religion or beliefs, UNLESS they can show that there is some threat of harm to society, public health, public order, security etc, or the Rights of others. How does smoking (or growing) pure cannabis in private do that? No Government has answered that question and the only answers from the UK talk about the use of the law as a deterrent – which in any case could hardly be called effective
How does the UK Government justify the use of oppressive tactics such as the Misuse of Drugs Act against people who decide to grow and / or use a plant at home, in private, or as a part of their religion or belief system?
The law alone is not sufficient justification for the Government to infringe upon those Rights.
It is the responsibility of the Government to show that cannabis is a real threat, backed by scientific evidence and not scare-mongering anecdote.
Of course, they are unable to do that.
Strange that both Parties in the Coalition and Labour in Opposition claim to stand by Human Rights and yet all refuse to grant victimless cannabis users the Right to practice their belief – that the consumption of cannabis is beneficial and even necessary to them in the privacy of their own homes.