The Question That’s Missing From The New Zealand Cannabis Debate: What About Privacy And Individual Rights?

The Question That's Missing From The New Zealand Cannabis Debate: What About Privacy And Individual Rights?

That is striking, since the problem of private liberties has traditionally been in the forefront of cannabis reform activism. In the core of all public health legislation is the battle between the forces of this nation and the person’s independence, privacy and freedom.

In the previous two decades, constitutional courts in many nations have mastered the prohibition of use, ownership and personal cultivation of cannabis interferes with a person’s right to privacy. They have said protecting public health and safety doesn’t warrant state punishment.

It might come as a surprise, however roughly half of those states in Europe don’t prohibit the use of medication (as New Zealand does). Rather, they choose simply to prohibit their ownership.

The distinction is much more than academic. Prohibition of consumption may provide police extraordinary powers, like taking biological samples from individuals as proof. Drug testing is more sensitive and should only be performed if there’s a substantial public interest to protect. Some states go even farther. Users develop and discuss cannabis among team members in personal settings.

The Rights And Also The Dangers

The goal of New Zealand’s suggested Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill would be to use market controllers to reduce injuries associated with cannabis and limit access by young men and women. However, as we’ve argued previously, the objective of reducing general use over the years will be difficult to attain via a commercial sector.

The private rights debate could battle to win over individuals concerned about the wellbeing and societal implications of legalisation, particularly given their expertise of additional public health arguments.

The alcohol sector, by way of instance, pushed human rights and customer responsibility to undermine successful public health activities such as high taxes and bans on advertising.

Personal Selection Vs Public Health

The premise all adults could make responsible decisions about using psychoactive medication can be contested. There are dangers of dependence that may interfere with private freedom, and the emotional impact of advertising that targets vulnerable groups like the poor and young.

Using any inorganic material carries the capacity to harm family and personal connections, and cause dangerous driving or workplace injuries. This strengthens the argument that a certain amount of law and state intervention will probably remain required.

The Lack Of Amateur Users Voices

Society seems receptive to the private right to use medicinal cannabis. Despite the (as yet) restricted scientific evidence for the efficacy of cannabis in medical therapy, greater legal access to medicinal cannabis brings good general support. This is largely predicated on respecting a individual’s decisions on how best to deal with their illness.

The best way to use cannabis recreationally requires decision makers to look at the benefits people get out of its usage, such as enjoyment or comfort. However, this can be forgotten or prevented in medication reform debates.

Medicinal cannabis users are actively engaged with the cannabis law reform discussion, using a representative about the Medicinal Cannabis Advisory Group. But recreational cannabis consumers appear to be mostly absent in the public discussion.

Adding more voices in recreational cannabis users can offer new methods of considering balancing the forces of the nation with rights. Given that the present uncertainties regarding the long-term health and societal consequences of legalisation, the patient rights issue might actually be one of the more persuasive arguments for reform.