420 PROTEST AT THE PROSECUTION AUTHORITY
The human rights demonstration on 20 April outside the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office heralds a paradigm shift. On this day of celebration for cannabis users worldwide, there were not only appeals and good vibes, but a jar with 100 grams of dried cannabis was offered to the prosecution authority.
AROD wanted to deliver cannabis to the Director of Public Prosecutions because the Ministry of Justice has for 20 years neglected its professional responsibility; because guarantees of legal certainty have been denied drug users; and because the Director is responsible for the use of the police power.
Since 2002, four Norwegian reports have undermined the prohibition regime. The lack of a basis for punishment is uncontested, and the failure of the political process to protect rights explains why AROD wanted the Director to prosecute.
Because the Norwegian drug law provides stiff penalties, 100 grams of cannabis is a key that activates the legal system. Section 89 of the Norwegian Constitution is clear that the courts have a "right and duty" to control laws, and with three civil disobedience actions, AROD has tried to get the courts to do a human rights analysis.
As more and more countries want to regulate the cannabis market to protect public health, the Norwegian authorities cannot take for granted that the prohibition fulfils a legitimate purpose. To the extent that a regulated market is better suited, the drug law will be based on the wrong premises, but on 20 December 2022, the Norwegian Supreme Court disregarded 200 years of legal history to protect the drug law from human rights analysis.
That is why AROD brought 100 grams of cannabis to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but the police and the prosecution authorities did not act on their duties. As seen in ARODs previous civil disobedience, the state does not want to confront the failures of prohibition. Neither the Director of Public Prosecutions nor his representatives want to provide drug users with the means to challenge the law, and so 100 grams of cannabis were distributed outside the Director's office.
In other words, while civil disobedience has moved the state forward, it has also made obvious a problem with the rule of law. AROD has shown civil disobedience to be effective at making public officials think twice, and more actions are expected until the constitution is taken seriously. Only question is: Will AROD at next year's 420-event offer even more cannabis to the Director of Public Prosecutions, or will the state accept responsibility for the rule of law?
ARODs 420 appeal for human rights protection and offer of 100 grams of cannabis to put the drug policy under constitutional review:
Radiofri presents a brief summary of the historic cannabisprotest:
Happy people at AROD and PASCANs cannabisfest:
After the failure to prosecute ARODs civil disobedience, activists walked to the Storting to plant cannabis. On their way, they met the police, which again would not confiscate the plant. Here is the 420-walk for human rights to the Norwegian Parliament: