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Monday, December 11, 2023

The Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights

The Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights - Preamble - Recognizing that the inherent dignity and equal rights of all individuals are the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world, Acknowledging the historical and cultural significance of cannabis in serving medicinal, spiritual, industrial, and recreational needs across societies, Concerned by the disproportionate harm, social injustices, and violations of personal freedoms resulting from the criminalization and stigmatization of cannabis, Understanding the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of individuals to access, cultivate, possess, and consume cannabis responsibly and safely, Emphasizing the need for equitable regulation and legalization of cannabis to advance public health, harm reduction, and social well-being, Recognizing the potential of sustainable cultivation and responsible use of cannabis to contribute to environmental conservation and economic development, Calling for international cooperation and collaboration in cannabis policy reform based on evidence, research, and human rights, We, the people, hereby proclaim this Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights as a common standard for the dignity, freedom, and well-being of all individuals and communities. Article 1: Right to Personal Autonomy Every individual has the right to make decisions regarding their own cannabis consumption, cultivation, possession, and mode of use, as long as it does not infringe upon the rights and well-being of others. Article 2: Right to Access and Availability Every individual has the right to access safe, affordable, and quality cannabis products for medicinal, spiritual, or recreational purposes, without unreasonable barriers or discrimination. Article 3: Right to Cultivate and Grow Every individual has the right to cultivate and grow cannabis for personal use, subject to reasonable regulations to ensure public safety, environmental protection, and responsible cultivation practices. Article 4: Right to Non-Discrimination No individual shall be discriminated against based on their cannabis use or association, including in areas of employment, housing, education, healthcare, or social services. Article 5: Right to Education and Information Every individual has the right to accurate and comprehensive education and information about cannabis, including its potential risks, benefits, and responsible use practices, to make informed decisions. Article 6: Right to Health and Harm Reduction Every individual has the right to access cannabis-based healthcare treatments, therapies, and harm reduction programs aimed at promoting overall well-being and minimizing potential risks. Article 7: Right to Social Justice and Equity Efforts shall be made to rectify the historical injustices and disproportionate impacts of cannabis prohibition, ensuring equity in the legal cannabis industry, and promoting social justice initiatives. Article 8: Right to Environmental Stewardship Cannabis cultivation and production shall be conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner, minimizing ecological harm and promoting conservation efforts to protect natural resources. Article 9: Right to Research and Innovation Support and encouragement shall be provided for scientific research, innovation, and the advancement of knowledge related to cannabis, its potential uses, and its impact on health and society. Article 10: Right to International Cooperation International cooperation shall be fostered to promote evidence-based cannabis policies, share best practices, and address global challenges related to cannabis regulation, trade, and public health. Article 11: Right to Smell Like Weed in Your Own Home Every individual has the right to possess, use, and consume cannabis within the confines of their own private residence, including the right to emit the odor of cannabis, without unreasonable interference or discrimination, even if they are renting the property. Article 12: Right to Smoke Weed Inside a Rented Unit Every individual who rents a residential unit has the right to consume cannabis by smoking within their rented space, provided that it does not violate applicable laws, does not pose a significant risk to the property or the health of others, and is in accordance with reasonable regulations set forth by the landlord or relevant authorities. Article 13: Right to Protection from Landlord Disputes In disputes related to cannabis use, growth, commerce, research, or education within rented properties, individuals have the right to fair and impartial resolution processes. Landlords shall not unreasonably restrict or discriminate against tenants who engage in lawful cannabis activities, and disputes shall be resolved through transparent and equitable means, ensuring the rights and interests of both parties. Article 14: Right to Protection in Cannabis Commerce Individuals engaged in legal cannabis commerce have the right to protection from undue harassment, discrimination, or unfair treatment by landlords or property owners. Such individuals shall be afforded the same rights, protections, and opportunities as those engaged in other lawful businesses, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Article 15: Right to Cannabis Research and Educational Rights Every individual, including researchers and educators, has the right to pursue cannabis-related research, education, and dissemination of knowledge without undue restrictions or censorship. Academic institutions and research organizations shall provide a supportive environment for the study of cannabis, promoting evidence-based understanding and the advancement of knowledge related to its properties, uses, and effects.  
In conclusion, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights sets forth a comprehensive framework to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals in relation to cannabis. By recognizing the autonomy and dignity of every person, promoting equitable access and availability, and ensuring protections against discrimination, this declaration strives to create a just and inclusive society where responsible cannabis use can flourish. Furthermore, the declaration emphasizes the importance of education, health, and harm reduction, aiming to foster informed decision-making and overall well-being. It also emphasizes the need for environmental stewardship, research, innovation, and international cooperation to advance the understanding and responsible regulation of cannabis. Through these principles and provisions, we seek to rectify past injustices, promote social equity, and create a balanced approach to cannabis policy that respects individual liberties while safeguarding public safety and welfare. The Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights serves as a guiding document that encourages dialogue, collaboration, and evidence-based approaches to shape a future where cannabis can be enjoyed responsibly and its potential benefits realized for the betterment of individuals and communities worldwide.

Addendum: The Right to Reek (The Right to Smell Like Weed) Recognizing the unique olfactory characteristics of cannabis and the cultural significance attached to its scent, an addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 16: The Right to Reek Every individual has the right to emit the distinct aroma associated with cannabis, commonly referred to as the "reeking" or "smelling like weed," without unwarranted interference or discrimination. The scent of cannabis shall be acknowledged as a natural perfume, embodying its own rights and cultural recognition. This right to reek shall be respected in public spaces, private residences, and other appropriate settings, provided that it does not infringe upon the rights and well-being of others or violate applicable laws or regulations. The right to reek recognizes the unique sensory experience associated with cannabis, allowing individuals to express their cultural identity and personal choices. It encourages acceptance and appreciation of the diverse aromas that contribute to the rich tapestry of human experiences. However, it is important to note that this right is subject to reasonable limitations in situations where the scent of cannabis may cause significant discomfort or pose a threat to the health and well-being of individuals in sensitive environments, such as healthcare facilities, educational institutions, or workplaces where it may interfere with the safety and productivity of others. By acknowledging the right to reek, we aim to foster a society that respects individual freedoms, cultural diversity, and the unique characteristics of cannabis. This addendum serves as a reminder that the scent of cannabis holds its own intrinsic value and should be treated with the same dignity and respect as any other perfume of nature. Note: It is essential to adhere to local laws and regulations regarding the use and consumption of cannabis, including any restrictions on public or private spaces where the scent may be emitted.

Addendum: The Right to Consent and the Right to Refuse Exposure to Second-Hand Cannabis Smoke Recognizing the importance of personal autonomy, consent, and respect for individual health considerations, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 17: The Right to Not Be Exposed to Second-Hand Cannabis Smoke Every individual has the right to not be exposed to second-hand cannabis smoke without their explicit consent. This right acknowledges the potential health risks and concerns associated with second-hand smoke and ensures that individuals have the freedom to make informed choices regarding their exposure. Individuals who are allergic to cannabis or have sensitivities to its smoke shall be afforded the right to protect their health and well-being by refusing exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke. This includes situations in public spaces, private residences, or any other setting where the inhalation of cannabis smoke may occur without their consent. Furthermore, this right to refuse extends to individuals who, for any reason, do not wish to be exposed to second-hand cannabis smoke, regardless of their health status. It recognizes the importance of personal boundaries and allows individuals to maintain control over their own environment and well-being. Respecting the right to use and the right to refuse, it is essential for individuals to seek mutual understanding and engage in open communication to ensure that consent is obtained and respected. This promotes a culture of consent and fosters an environment where personal choices and health concerns are acknowledged and valued. It is important to note that this right to refuse exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke does not infringe upon the rights of individuals to use cannabis in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It simply emphasizes the need for consent and respect for the well-being and preferences of others. By incorporating this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights recognizes the importance of consent, personal boundaries, and the right to refuse exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke. It aims to create a balanced and inclusive framework that upholds individual freedoms while promoting a culture of respect, understanding, and consent for the well-being of all individuals.

Addendum: The Rights of Kids, Teenagers, and Babies to Access Safe Medical Cannabis Products Recognizing the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of children, teenagers, and babies, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 18: The Right to Be Prescribed and Access Safe Medical Cannabis Products under Medical and Parental Supervision Every child, teenager, and baby has the right to be prescribed and access safe medical cannabis products under the supervision of qualified medical professionals and parental guidance. This right acknowledges the potential therapeutic benefits that cannabis may provide in certain medical conditions and emphasizes the importance of ensuring safe and responsible use. Medical cannabis products, including those specifically formulated for pediatric use, should be made available to children, teenagers, and babies who can benefit from their potential therapeutic effects. This includes conditions such as epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer-related symptoms, and other ailments where medical cannabis has shown promise in alleviating symptoms or improving quality of life. Access to medical cannabis products for children, teenagers, and babies should be facilitated through a regulated and controlled framework that prioritizes the safety, efficacy, and appropriate dosing for pediatric patients. The involvement of qualified medical professionals in prescribing and overseeing the use of medical cannabis is crucial to ensure proper medical supervision and monitoring of potential side effects or interactions. Furthermore, parental guidance and involvement play a vital role in the responsible use of medical cannabis products for children, teenagers, and babies. Parents should be provided with comprehensive information, education, and support to make informed decisions regarding the use of medical cannabis for their children, in collaboration with healthcare professionals. It is important to stress that the use of medical cannabis for children, teenagers, and babies should always be based on sound medical judgment, taking into consideration the individual patient's medical condition, potential risks, and benefits. The dosage, administration, and frequency of medical cannabis use should be determined by healthcare professionals experienced in pediatric care. By including this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights recognizes the rights of children, teenagers, and babies to access safe medical cannabis products under medical and parental supervision. It promotes a comprehensive approach that prioritizes the well-being and safety of pediatric patients, ensuring that they receive the necessary medical care and support in utilizing cannabis as a potential therapeutic option.

Addendum: The Right to Utilize Industrial Hemp for its Multifaceted Applications Recognizing the significant potential of industrial hemp as a versatile and sustainable resource, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 19: The Right to Industrial Hemp's Multifaceted Uses, including Food, Fiber, and Carbon Nanostructures Every individual and society has the right to harness the diverse applications of industrial hemp, including but not limited to its use as a source of food, fiber, and carbon nanostructures. This right acknowledges the ecological, economic, and societal benefits associated with the cultivation and utilization of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp, with its low THC content, offers a wide range of possibilities for sustainable development across various industries. Its fibers can be used in the production of textiles, paper, construction materials, and bio-composites, providing eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials. The seeds of industrial hemp contain valuable nutrients and can be processed into food products, contributing to a nutritious and diverse diet. Additionally, industrial hemp holds immense potential in the field of nanotechnology. Its fibrous structure can be utilized to produce carbon nanostructures, which have various applications in electronics, energy storage, and environmental remediation. The right to explore and utilize these innovative advancements from industrial hemp contributes to scientific progress and technological innovation. This right to utilize industrial hemp's multifaceted uses should be supported by appropriate regulations and policies that ensure sustainable cultivation practices, quality control, and proper waste management. It is essential to promote research, development, and education surrounding the potential benefits and responsible utilization of industrial hemp across industries. By incorporating this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights recognizes the importance of industrial hemp as a valuable resource with countless applications. It emphasizes the right of individuals and societies to explore and benefit from the multifaceted uses of industrial hemp, promoting sustainability, innovation, and economic growth in a responsible and environmentally conscious manner.

Addendum: The Right to All Molecules, Cannabinoids, Proteins, Oils, Extracts, and Derivatives of Cannabis and Hemp, Including the Right to THC Recognizing the vast array of components and derivatives present in cannabis and hemp, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 20: The Right to All Molecules, Cannabinoids, Proteins, Oils, Extracts, and Derivatives of Cannabis and Hemp, Including the Right to THC Every individual has the right to access, utilize, and explore all molecules, cannabinoids, proteins, oils, extracts, and derivatives derived from cannabis and hemp, including the right to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This right acknowledges the potential therapeutic, medicinal, and industrial benefits associated with these components. Cannabis and hemp contain a wide range of molecules and compounds, such as cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and others, as well as proteins, oils, extracts, and derivatives. These components have demonstrated various potential applications in fields such as medicine, wellness, agriculture, and industry. The right to all molecules, cannabinoids, proteins, oils, extracts, and derivatives derived from cannabis and hemp encompasses the freedom to explore their potential benefits and utilize them in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It acknowledges the importance of scientific research, innovation, and responsible use in unlocking the full potential of these substances. It is essential to ensure quality control, safety standards, and responsible practices in the production, distribution, and use of these components. Regulatory frameworks should be in place to safeguard public health, promote transparency, and prevent misuse. By including this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights recognizes the right of individuals to access and utilize all molecules, cannabinoids, proteins, oils, extracts, and derivatives derived from cannabis and hemp, including the right to THC. It emphasizes the importance of scientific exploration, responsible use, and the potential benefits that these components can bring to various aspects of human life.

Addendum: Cannabis' Inherent Right to Survival, Nourishing Humanity and Animals, and Promoting a Peaceful Food Chain through Plant-Based Protein Provision Recognizing the ecological significance and potential societal benefits of cannabis, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 21: Cannabis' Right to Survival, Nourishment, and Promotion of a Peaceful Food Chain through Plant-Based Protein Provision Cannabis, as a species, possesses an inherent right to survival and the ability to contribute to the nourishment of humanity and animals. This right acknowledges the unique nutritional properties and potential of cannabis to address challenges within the current food chain and promote a more peaceful coexistence among species through veganization. Cannabis, particularly hemp, has the ability to provide plant-based proteins that can serve as a sustainable and nutritious food source for mammals, including humans. By harnessing the nutritional benefits of cannabis, we can reduce the reliance on animal-based protein sources, thereby lessening the need for the slaughter and consumption of animals. The promotion of plant-based protein derived from cannabis supports the principles of veganism, which advocate for the reduction of harm to animals and the environment. By embracing plant-based alternatives, we can foster a more compassionate and harmonious relationship with the natural world, promoting a peaceful food chain that respects the well-being of all living beings. To ensure the responsible cultivation and utilization of cannabis for plant-based protein provision, it is necessary to establish sustainable agricultural practices, quality control measures, and appropriate regulations. This includes promoting organic farming methods, optimizing resource utilization, and maintaining biodiversity. By incorporating this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights acknowledges the inherent right of cannabis to survive as a species and contribute to the nourishment of humanity and animals. It emphasizes the potential of cannabis to promote a more peaceful food chain by providing plant-based protein to all mammals, reducing the need for the consumption of animal-based products and fostering a greater sense of interconnectedness and compassion among species.

Addendum: The Right to Protest Anti-Cannabis Laws and Advocate for Cannabis Legalization Recognizing the importance of civil liberties and the freedom to express dissent, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 22: The Right to Protest Anti-Cannabis Fascist Laws Every individual has the right to peacefully protest against anti-cannabis laws and advocate for the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis. This right acknowledges the significance of civil engagement and the pursuit of justice in shaping cannabis policies that reflect the will and interests of the people. In instances where cannabis laws are deemed unjust, oppressive, or based on discriminatory practices, individuals have the right to voice their concerns and express their dissent through peaceful protests, demonstrations, and advocacy efforts. This includes raising awareness, engaging in public discourse, and mobilizing for policy reform. The right to protest anti-cannabis laws encompasses the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It recognizes the power of collective action and civil society in effecting change and ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of cannabis users, cultivators, and advocates. It is important to uphold the principles of non-violence, respect for public order, and the rule of law in the exercise of this right. Peaceful protests should be conducted with due regard for public safety and the rights of others, while respecting the diverse perspectives and opinions surrounding cannabis legalization. By including this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights acknowledges and supports the right of individuals to protest against anti-cannabis laws and advocate for the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis. It underscores the importance of civil engagement, public discourse, and democratic processes in shaping cannabis policies that align with the will and interests of the people.

Addendum: The Right to Legalize Cannabis Recognizing the evolving societal attitudes towards cannabis and the potential benefits of legalization, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 23: The Right to Legalize Cannabis Every society has the right to consider and enact legislation that legalizes cannabis, reflecting the will and values of its citizens. This right acknowledges the growing body of evidence supporting the potential benefits of cannabis legalization, including social, economic, and public health considerations. The right to legalize cannabis encompasses the freedom of governments and legislative bodies to assess the impact of cannabis prohibition and make informed decisions based on scientific research, public opinion, and societal needs. It recognizes that legalization can provide opportunities for regulated access, taxation, and quality control, while also addressing issues related to criminal justice, public safety, and individual liberties. Governments and legislative bodies should establish comprehensive regulatory frameworks that prioritize public health, responsible use, and harm reduction strategies. This includes age restrictions, product labeling, education campaigns, impaired driving regulations, and measures to prevent excessive commercialization or marketing targeting vulnerable populations. The right to legalize cannabis should be guided by evidence-based policies that promote equity, social justice, and the protection of individual rights. It is crucial to address historical injustices, such as disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws on marginalized communities, and foster a fair and inclusive legal framework. By incorporating this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights recognizes the right of societies to consider and enact legislation that legalizes cannabis. It emphasizes the importance of evidence-based approaches, responsible regulation, and the consideration of societal values and needs in shaping cannabis policies.

Addendum: Government Responsibility to Regulate, Subsidize, and Support the Cannabis/Hemp Market, Including Research and Development Recognizing the potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of the cannabis and hemp industry, an additional addendum is hereby made to the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights: Article 24: Government Responsibility to Regulate, Subsidize, and Support the Cannabis/Hemp Market, Including Research and Development Governments have a responsibility to regulate, subsidize, and support the development of the cannabis and hemp market, in recognition of its potential contributions to various sectors of society. This includes fostering research and development (R&D) initiatives that explore the full range of benefits and applications associated with cannabis and hemp. Regulation: Governments should establish comprehensive regulatory frameworks that provide clear guidelines for the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis and hemp products. These regulations should prioritize public health, safety, and quality control, while also addressing issues such as taxation, licensing, and consumer protection. Subsidization: Governments should consider providing financial support and incentives, such as grants, loans, and tax breaks, to encourage the growth and sustainability of the cannabis and hemp industry. This can help cultivate a competitive market, stimulate innovation, and create employment opportunities within the sector. Research and Development: Governments should invest in research and development programs that explore the diverse applications of cannabis and hemp, including but not limited to medicine, agriculture, industry, and sustainability. This investment can lead to the discovery of new therapeutic uses, advancements in agricultural practices, and the development of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional industries. Collaboration: Governments should foster collaboration between academia, industry, and research institutions to maximize the potential benefits of cannabis and hemp. This includes facilitating partnerships, knowledge sharing, and the dissemination of scientific findings to inform evidence-based policies and practices. By incorporating this addendum, the Universal Declaration of Cannabis Rights underscores the government's responsibility to regulate, subsidize, and support the cannabis and hemp market. It emphasizes the need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks, financial incentives, and investment in research and development to unlock the full potential of cannabis and hemp, benefiting society as a whole.

Marie Seshat Landry

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