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Supreme Court: banning the personal use of drugs nullifies fundamental rights

That’s the Supreme Court of Colombia. Who knew that we’d have to look to other Supreme Courts for an understanding of fundamental rights.

Colombia Supreme Court decriminalizes drugs for personal use

Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that carrying small doses of drugs is not a punishable offense, torpedoing years of effort by the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe to criminalize the personal possession and consumption of drugs.

According to the court, penalizing the personal use of drugs violates the “free development of personality.”

The court found that Legislative Act No.2, 2009, which banned the personal use of drugs, “implies the nullification of fundamental rights, and it represses and sanctions with the severest punishments (imprisonment) the personal decision to abandon one’s personal health, a choice that corresponds to their own decision and does not infringe on the rights of other members of society.”

According to newspaper El Tiempo, the Supreme Court set the “personal amount” of drugs at 20 grams of marijuana and one gram of cocaine.

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10 comments to Supreme Court: banning the personal use of drugs nullifies fundamental rights

  • Common Science

    What’s with Columbia? Do they not also live under a plutocracy? A Supreme court decision as such makes their country seem… civilized.

  • Ed Dunkle

    That’s 0.7 ounces of cannabis. Fair enough. (And when is the U.S. ever going to convert to the freaking metric system already??)

    Colombia: Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! Bravo!!

  • darkcycle

    Look for sensible policies elsewhere. The United States is actively engaged in a drive to restore the dark ages.

  • ols

    I usually recoil from US supremes using foreign law and foreign court decisions in their deliberations on US court case. But I may have to change my opinion. That is one of the most concise and logical opinions regarding personal drug use as one can expect from a government. Talk about libertarian ideals. Wow.

  • C.E.

    One could argue that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a similar right. Nowhere does the Constitution give Congress the generalized power to protect people from their own bad choices (leaving aside the issue whether using some drugs is even a bad choice). Drug laws, of course, arise from the Commerce Clause, which allows Congress to regulate commerce among the states and with foreign nations. Getting from that to prohibiting an individual from deciding to ingest a drug that may or may not be harmful requires a convoluted line of reasoning that only a lawyer could love. Oddly, Justice Thomas appears to be the only Supreme Court Justice who agrees that the federal government has no business criminalizing not just possession of drugs for personal use, but also their production for household use.

    • Jante

      Is any one from Texas or any where else, willing to start a organization with others and I to legalize Cannabis for medical reasons. (Cancer, AIDS, Spondylolisthesis, Stenosis etc)We are looking to use the Constitution and we need a legal hand. You may be aware of this but Texas is the least likely state to legalize Cannabis. This is why we need as many people as possible. I have seen what pharmaceutical drugs for back pain, Aids, Cancer and other deadly disease has done. I’ve personally met others with some of these conditions in states that Medical Cannabis is legal and it is a huge difference in attitude health and life style then here in Texas. (they were much happier, had less pain and all together much friendlier :D. Always smiling and laughing.)I am not trying to say it is OK to smoke crack. I am saying it should be OK to smoke what ever make your life more livable when your living a life filled with disease and pain…. and to me that is Cannabis. They say here in America we have more “Rights”, but what are rights good for when you have to always put quotations on them. We pay our tax own our own land we should not have to be told what we can or can not do on our land, if it does not harm anyone and that do not include ourselves…. If you are interested please email at Janatha_2004@yahoo.com This has nothing to do with money we no money we just need as many people as possible so that we can be heard.

  • Servetus

    The Colombian Supreme Court statement is like some time capsule that helps everyone recall what genuine human rights were before Americans lost sight of those rights in the smoke and haze of drug battles.

    So yes, as humans we do have the right to neglect our health. And anyone who differs with that specific right needs to call up a SWAT team and go bust a McDonalds kingpin and make him forfeit his golden arches.

  • Scott

    “Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.” — dissent authored by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Gonzales v. Raich)

    • Ed Dunkle

      Yup. And as much as I dislike most of Clarence Thomas’s votes, I have to give him credit for his vote on Raich. At least he was consistent, unlike all the other conservative members of the court.

  • Duncan20903

    .
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    Just a reminder that just because someone thinks its not the Federal governments place, it doesn’t mean that that person has a problem with the various States criminalizing it. That’s what crosses my mind when Ron Paul’s supporters mention his position on drugs. I’m not saying that means that person shouldn’t be supported for election because getting the Federal government out of the picture would most certainly result in several States either outright legalizing with several more not going all the way but still making things easier regarding this issue.