Monday, 8 September 2008

Press Release: "Law without Justice is Tyranny", says Cannabis Campaigner

September 8 2008

The recent conviction of cannabis campaigner Neil Morgan of of Heol
Tawe, Ystradgynlais, South Wales for the possession and cultivation of
cannabis in his private abode, begs the question of exactly what is
one’s Private Life under the Human Rights Act.

Alun Buffry, a spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) said
after the conviction: “Mr Morgan grew and possessed cannabis plants in
his own home - there was no suggestion of supplying others - in fact
nobody other than police officers were involved at all.

“There is no law against brewing one’s own alcohol at home and drinking
oneself into oblivion, providing nobody else is harmed, yet the police
can enter one’s home on suspicion of cannabis cultivation despite that
nobody is harmed.

“Where is the Justice in punishing people who have done no harm because
of their choice of lifestyle or drug of recreation - it doesn’t make
sense to allow the drinking of alcohol in clubs, pubs and restaurants
yet punish people for using cannabis to their benefit in the own home.

“Where exactly is the Private Life guaranteed us under the Human Rights
Act? What gives police the legal authority to interfere with that
Right? According to Human Rights law there has to have been more than
law-breaking alone - there needs to be a threat that satisfies the
criteria of the Human Rights Articles . In this case there was no
threat and no harm to anyone.

“I believe that it is the police that are acting illegally under the
Human Rights Act.”

Mr Morgan, who has 20 previous convictions for cannabis, unsuccessfully
appealed to the Jury:

““I’m fighting for the right to exist, no more than that.

“I’m not interfering with anyone’s existence at all, I keep myself to
myself and live quietly and peacefully.

“It’s irrational discrimination to be allowed to produce alcohol without
interference, yet I’m here before you trying hard to make a case for my
liberty.

“That’s why I’m appealing for the jury to help me out on this one.”

According to the press report, His Honour Judge Richard Philips told the
Jury in his summing up: “We cannot live in a society where everyone is
free to say: ’My view is that the law is irrational’”

Alun Buffry commented on this: “I cannot believe that the Judge told the
Jury that we are somehow not supposed to comment on the Justice of the
law. It sounds like Judge Philips believes that there should be no
debate on the Justice of the law, and that laws ought not to be
considered irrational in our society, even when they blatantly are.

“But I think His Honour has missed the point - it is not a question on
the rationality of the law, it is a question of what Justice in applying
the law to the activities of a person in private, when no harm at all is
done. : if Mr Morgan did no harm, then clearly the law has been
misapplied, the police entry to his premises contravened Mr Morgan’s
Right to a Private life.

“Without respect to the Human Rights law, we have tyranny, arbitrary
law, injustice, persecution of minorities - which is exactly what we
fought the wars against.”

Notes:

1 UK: Man With 20 Drug Offences Faces Prison, Irish News, 4 Sep 2008
http://www.irishnews.com/
2 Human Rights Act
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/ukpga_19980042_en_3#sch1

Article 8 Right to respect for private and family life

1 Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his
home and his correspondence.
2 There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise
of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is
necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security,
public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the
prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals,
or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

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 morals, or for the protection of the rights
and freedoms of others.

Article 10 Freedom of expression

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall
include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information
and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of
frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the
licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2 The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and
responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions,
restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in
a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial
integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for
the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation
or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information
received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and
impartiality of the judiciary.

Article 14 Prohibition of discrimination

The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention
shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race,
colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or
social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or
other status.

Contacts
AlunBuffry@lca-uk.org
Legalise Cannabis Alliance
PO Box 2883
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 9EE
http://www.lca-uk.org