WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
As mentioned above, the human rights conventions clearly state that our officials have a positive obligation to take allegations of human rights violations seriously. This means that they are duty-bound to let us have the issue reviewed by an independent, impartial, and competent tribunal, and this being our right we, the people, would do well to make use of it.
Consequently, for those human rights defenders who want a drug policy compatible with human rights (and who want to see whether or not politicians acknowledge their responsibilities as civil servants), what you can do is the following: Write to politicians, present them with information suggestive of the drug laws’ incompatibility with human rights, and ask that (1) a national commission is set up, one that independently, impartially, and competently can have the issue reviewed; or (2), considering that drug prohibition is a worldwide problem, organized at the top from the UN level, that they work to have the issue resolved internationally. The UN shall have a High Level Session on drugs in 2019 and public officials then should see to it that the rights-oriented debate gets the attention it deserves.
As of today, more and more constitutional courts (Alaska, Georgia, Mexico, South Africa) are invalidating the drug law, while more and more countries are legalizing the trade of cannabis. As the problems with prohibition are a lot worse than the problems associated with drug use, this trend can be expected to continue, and responsible leaders have called for a review of current policies—one based on human rights concerns.
Prohibitionists, for their part, claim that the trend towards legalizing drugs is in breach of obligations to the UN drug control conventions. They have presented no good reasons for this claim, but as the dissonance between the drug conventions and human rights conventions is drawing more attention the time has come for a full review of the issue.
With the 2019 High Level Session, therefore, the time has come to investigate whether such regimes really violate the drug conventions—or if, on the other hand, the drug conventions violate the human rights conventions. To settle the score, AROD have presented a report together with five questions that must be answered to the satisfaction of an independent, impartial, and competent commission. This report, Human Rising: The Prohibitionist Psychosis and its Constitutional Implications (2018), can be found at our reading room and several countries have reviewed it favorably. As it details how unconsciousness and powerpolitics have defined the evolution of drug policy, it will be interesting to see how world leaders respond. Time will tell, but to cut to the heart of the matter, there is no way for prohibition to continue within the perimeters of the rule of law without them stepping up to the challenge of answering our 5 questions. These questions can be found below, and concerned citizens should see to it that they get the attention they deserve.