Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 November 2019
Regulated permission of cannabis cultivation and trade for recreational use in the interest of individual and public health, security and crime control can be based on positive human rights obligations that arise from international human rights conventions. Under international law, states must give priority to those positive obligations over and above any obligations under the UN drugs conventions if they interfere with each other. If the above-mentioned basis is there, states have the possibility under international law to regulate cannabis despite their obligations under the UN drugs conventions.
This is the gist of the answers to the two main questions in this book, which have been explored at length in the preceding chapters. Together, they provide a qualified – in other words: subject to conditions – positive answer to the cannabis issue. We will therefore not summarize the nuances and corresponding analyses that apply to these conclusions again; please refer to sections 2.5 and 3.12. Instead, we will discuss the steps, assumptions and conditions that are relevant if a state were to decide, on the basis of the incumbent positive human rights obligations, to permit cannabis cultivation and trade for the recreational user market under regulation.
RELEVANT ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF REGULATED PERMISSION
All four human rights discussed – to wit, the rights regarding health, life, inhuman treatment and privacy – give rise to positive obligations that can support regulated permission of cannabis cultivation and trade for the purpose of recreational cannabis use. This essentially concerns positive obligations incumbent on the state to protect individuals from the harmful effects – on life, health, physical and psychological integrity and privacy – of unregulated cannabis cultivation and trade. However, not all arguments with regard to individual and public health, safety and fighting crime that are presented to support permission under regulation are relevant for these positive obligations.
ARGUMENTS THAT ARE DIRECTLY RELEVANT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF POSITIVE OBLIGATIONS
First of all, the arguments involved in this research to support regulation that do have a basis in one or more of those positive human rights obligations.