The time for change is now. At Otago NORML we're working hard to raise awareness of the issue of law reform on all levels. So check out our latest news items, articles, and press releases.
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Next time it's jail, cannabis grower warned
By LYN HUMPHREYS - Taranaki Daily News
A judge was left unimpressed with a "green card" which stated Franz Riordan had an exemption to grow cannabis because of his severe arthritis.
Riordan, 33, pleaded guilty to cultivation and possession of cannabis when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday.
Police found Riordan's housebus set up with lights, fans and equipment to grow cannabis. In total, 262 grams of cannabis was found in various conditions and sizes.
Man sentenced for selling cannabis gear
The Southland Times
The sole Invercargill offender netted during the nationwide undercover police sting targeting the commercial sale of equipment for growing cannabis was sentenced to home detention yesterday.
Peter James Stewart, 50, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Invercargill District Court for sentence on five charges of supplying material or equipment capable of being used in the cultivation of cannabis from his store Europa Hydroponics.
Doctors' group favours medical use of cannabis
By REBECCA TODD - Health reporter - The Press
Cannabis should be decriminalised or made available for medicinal use, some health experts say.
Doctors want to be able to prescribe cannabis-based drugs to patients, and addiction specialists say decriminalisation would put greater focus on the health issues associated with smoking marijuana.
A paper on controlling and regulating drugs was released by the Law Commission in February. It asked for comment on whether medicinal cannabis should be available and whether users should be licensed to cultivate small amounts.
Wed, 14 Jul 2010
An inmate released from Tongariro/Rangipo Prison last month was back in the hands of the law hours later when he was caught buying cannabis on the way home.
Corrections Department investigations discovered the prisoner was setting up the drug deal while in jail.
"This information was passed on to police and the ex-prisoner and his dealer were arrested during a cannabis transaction and charged with drug related offences," Corrections regional intelligence manager Dave Alty said.
"Obviously the prisoner was very keen for a high after being inside but you would think he would have at least waited to make contact with his dealer once he got out.
"In addition, I am pretty sure the dealer isn't going to be too happy."
The department said the prisoner had reappeared in court over the incident and had received a non-custodial sentence.
US police find pot stash in railroad tanker
A late-night police pursuit ended with a drug bust and the discovery of thousands of pounds of marijuana concealed in a railroad tank car that entered the US from Mexico this month.
Police Detective Gus Villanueva said numerous bundles of pot were removed from the gooey inside of the petroleum rail tanker by late morning and many more packages were still inside.
Police bust Taupo drug operation
Police have found what they describe as an extensive and sophisticated cannabis growing operation in a Taupo home.
Police were executing a search warrant at a central Taupo residential address shortly before 9am yesterday when they came across the indoor growing operation in the offender's garage.
Police have not released a specific number, but said the operation involved several dozen mature, top quality cannabis plants.
A 40-year-old Taupo man was charged with cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis for supply and theft of electricity.
He entered no plea when he appeared in Taupo District Court today, and was remanded to reappear on July 28.
Detective Allan Humphries, of Taupo police, described the operation as "sophisticated".
Peruvians hid dope in their vuvuzelas
Peruvian drug dealers have found a novel use for the vuvuzela, the long, thin plastic horns whose buzzing blare has been the theme sound of the soccer World Cup - hiding their marijuana.
Police bust two large-scale marijuana growing operations
Thu, 1 Jul 2010
Police arrested three people after uncovering two large marijuana growing operations during raids on five houses in Auckland today.
They also seized 11 vehicles and nearly $100,000 cash.
Two men, aged 42 and 26, and a woman, 57, were arrested and due in court on drugs charges today, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark McHattie said.
Police searched houses in Penrose, Mt Wellington, Glenfield, and Brown's Bay. The cannabis was found growing at Penrose and Glenfield houses.
Lawyer claims police "set up" shop assistant in drugs sting
Undercover police "set up" a minor player in a big cannabis operation with sob stories about a terminally ill family member, says a New Plymouth lawyer.
Police swooped on 35 gardening businesses across the country in April. The two-year Operation Lime resulted in 250 arrests and more than 700 charges.
Wed, 12 May 2010 5:20p.m.
By Jeff Hampton
Authorities want the Censor's office to look at a national pro-cannabis magazine which even sells in some branches of Whitcoulls.
But their move, which could result in the censor banning Norml News is outraging politicians and cannabis law reformers who say it's undemocratic.
Norml News is the voice of New Zealand's dope smokers and since 1990 it's been calling for the reform of the country's cannabis laws.
The magazine carries pro-cannabis articles, gardening supply advertisements, and the latest issue even has a message from Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.
Now Internal affairs has sent it to the Censor's office, Ms Turei says she's horrified and it’s an attack on democracy – the magazine's editor is livid.