There are many vulnerable people, some elderly, others in unimaginable pain, for whom marijuana is the only relief. At present, they live not only with the pain itself, but with the threat that if they self-medicate they face arrest and possible imprisonment. Surely this is one area where the state has no business interfering. There are also people who genuinely use marijuana in their spiritual lives, an obvious example being Rastafarians, though there are also practicing pagans, who genuinely use it as a part of their own spiritual practices in the privacy of their own homes. Again, surely an area where the state has no business interfering. The use of marijuana in both these areas of individual choice makes this a human rights issue: the right to self-medicate and the right to practice ones religion as stated in the UN charter on Human Rights – article 12, and in particular article 18.
A law could be crafted that would allow for the propagation of a defined number of plants for personal use only, or, in the case of a carer, for the consumption of someone that one is caring for. Supply for financial gain and supply to minors would still be illegal. (In various ways this process is now happening in Belgium, Portugal, Germany, and the infamous Holland, to name a few in Europe, as well as Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and various States in the USA, such as California, New Mexico and Oregon amongst others.)
This single piece of legislation would show this government’s commitment both to human rights and to the freedom of the individual. I suspect there may well be ‘spin off’ benefits to this legislation: taking the supply of marijuana out of the control of gangs (for similar reasons that you were, in my opinion rightly, wishing to do with your amnesty for illegal immigrants), freeing up of police resources at a time of financial restrictions, allowing the health services to promote literature about the dangers of abuse, rather than use, of marijuana, and ending the criminalization of many people who are otherwise law abiding citizens, allowing them to trust, rather than fear, the police.
The change in legislation that I am proposing would be an enormous leap forward in the freedom of the individual over the state within their private home environment. It would stop the sickening sight of some of the most vulnerable people in society being dragged through the courts. It would allow health issues that can arise from marijuana abuse to be dealt with as primarily a health issue, rather than a law enforcement issue, as we currently do with alcohol abuse.