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Tue, 18 May 2010 3:15p.m.
By Nandor Tanczos
I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, at least when it comes to the New Zealand Government. I know it's hard to avoid the conclusion that there is more than meets the eye to 9/11, and yes there is pretty good evidence that the CIA has been complicit in the trafficking of hard drugs at least since the Vietnam war, but this isn't America. In New Zealand, bungling is often a more likely explanation than corruption.
That's why I have to reject the suggestion that the current crackdown on the cannabis culture is designed to boost organised crime. That may be the result, but I just don't believe it is the intent. Drug policy is highly complex, very political and driven by a great deal of smug self righteousness. A better candidate for frenzied counterproductive activity would be hard to find, hence these latest moves. Someone in Government clearly thinks that we have gone too far. Cannabis use has become common-place. It is widely accepted even by those who do not partake. The police often turn a blind eye, and that staid body the Law Commission, in its own tentative way, has suggested easing criminal penalties for pot. Clearly it is time we were stamped on.
NORML President Phil Saxby has applauded the Auckland Mayoral Forum’s decision not to go ahead with the government’s proposed Party Central venue, arguing that instead of promoting alcohol at “Party Central”, the government should listen to Auckland's many cannabis-smoking rugby fans.
Mr Saxby has written to the Cabinet arguing that cannabis should be regulated in time for the Rugby World Cup in order to decrease alcohol violence during World Cup parties.
"We need to learn from Portugal's experience. They openly permitted cannabis use during the European World Cup and it was a success: there was far less violence. Portugal’s drug laws since 2001 have regulated all drug use through a non-Court process called Commissions of Dissuasion, with greatly improved health results."
Mr Saxby was referring to the Euro 2004 tournament between France and England. Branded as 'hooligans', 50,000 fans - notorious for their drunken antics and ability to instigate all-out riots - descended upon Lisbon. Rather than ban alcohol, the authorities decided instead to sanction cannabis use by English and French fans before the game. The police priority was alcohol. As a result, the match took place without incident, even in the immediate aftermath of England's 2-1 defeat.
"At least 400,000 New Zealanders currently smoke cannabis. It's a part of rugby culture in New Zealand and NORML believes the sanctioning of cannabis use at big sporting events like this is an efficient way to cut down on over-the-top drunken behaviour", Phil Saxby said.
"NORML will be reminding the Cabinet of Portugal’s successful experiment, every time there is an outbreak of alcohol-fuelled violence; whether it be sporting events or New Years gatherings," warns Phil Saxby.
Refer: Guardian story below:
It's OK to smoke dope, England fans told
* Paul Kelso in Lisbon
* The Guardian, Friday 11 June 2004 09.42 BST
Portuguese police officers will turn a blind eye to England supporters who openly smoke cannabis during Euro 2004, having decided that a stoned crowd is easier to control than a drunk one.
Lisbon police confirmed yesterday that England fans will not be arrested for puffing on joints on the streets of the Portuguese capital, following a recommendation from the Dutch authorities responsible for policing the English during Euro 2000.
Four years ago England's match in Eindhoven, ironically against Portugal, passed off peacefully as many supporters took advantage of the Netherlands' liberal drugs laws. By contrast the game against Germany in the Belgian town of Charleroi was marred by violence, much of it fuelled by alcohol.
Portugal has similarly relaxed legislation to the Dutch and the authorities hope it will help them police the 50,000 supporters expected to arrive in the country in the next few days.
Possession of small amounts of cannabis is not illegal in Portugal but, technically, consumption is. However, having liaised with the Dutch, police will not act except in extreme circumstances.
Isabel Canelas, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese police, said cannabis would be a low priority during the tournament. "Everyone knows that here everyone can smoke. The police are doing another kind of job and their priorities are different.
"We won't be hiding behind doors waiting for someone to smoke a joint. We have to use common sense. If people are smoking but not kicking each other, not beating each other, and not making a problem, why on earth would an officer go and ask 'Is that cannabis?'
"If you are quietly smoking and a police officer is 10 metres away, what's the big risk in your behaviour? I'm not going to tap you on the shoulder and ask 'What are you smoking?' if you are posing no menace to others. Our priority is alcohol.
"Of course, if people cause a problem through using drugs and become a menace to others, police will be expected to take action. It would be totally different when a police officer realises there's someone trying to sell."
Visitors to Lisbon do not have to try too hard to buy the drug. The city does not have "coffee shops" in the Dutch style, but tourists are likely to be offered cannabis by street vendors.
Organisers have not restricted the amount of alcohol on sale during the tournament despite the Football Association's concerns. Beer costs just 66p a glass and will be freely available around stadiums and at big screen locations.
Eindhoven police spokesman Johann Beelan said cannabis was a positive influence on public order at Euro 2000. "Cannabis ... was part of the conditions which meant everyone had a good time," he said.
British police estimated around 3,000 English supporters had arrived in Portugal by last night, but there have been no reports of disorder and no arrests.
Letter to Hon Simon Power
Dear Mr Power
Regulate Cannabis in time for Rugby World Cup
First, NORML wishes to record its regret that government Ministers have reacted so negatively to the well-researched and sensible report from the Law Commission on the Misuse of Drugs Act, apparently before even reading it. NORML members expected more from a government that poses as an opponent of the “Nanny State”. We look forward to public debate on improving our drug laws, and will urge a more flexible approach in accordance with the views of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
In particular, we call on the government to regulate access to cannabis for personal use in time for the Rugby World Cup in order to decrease alcohol violence during World Cup parties.
We need to learn from Portugal's experience, documented in the attached article. That country openly permitted cannabis use during the 2004 European World Cup and it was a success: there was far less violence as a result.
Please note that Portugal’s drug laws since 2001 have regulated all drug use through a non-Court process called Commissions of Dissuasion, with greatly improved health results.
The Euro-2004 tournament between France and England provides us with a valuable lesson in preparation for the Rugby World Cup. Among the 50,000 fans were many British football 'hooligans' - notorious for their drunken antics and ability to instigate all-out riots – who descended upon Lisbon. Rather than ban alcohol, the authorities decided instead to sanction cannabis use by English and French fans before the game. The police priority was alcohol. As a result, the match took place without incident, even in the immediate aftermath of England's 2-1 defeat.
I attach web references for your further information.
At least 400,000 New Zealanders currently smoke cannabis. It's a part of rugby culture in New Zealand and NORML believes the sanctioning of cannabis use at big sporting events like this is an efficient way to cut down on over-the-top drunken behaviour.
NORML will be reminding the Cabinet of Portugal’s successful experiment, every time there is an outbreak of alcohol-fuelled violence; whether it be sporting events or New Year gatherings.
Come to the SGM or say goodbye to your right to peacefully protest at 4:20
Thursday, May 13, 2010
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Union lawn if fine, or student union if not
The student General Meeting is at 12noon on Thursday. Your OUSA president Harriet wants to scrap all previous motions and start again with a clean slate. Hidden within these motions are the motions that give you the right to your peaceful protests on campus at the 4:20s.
Let us turn up to the SGM. Let us point out that her all or nothing sweep of OUSA policy is undemocratic. And let us show that we will not have our 4:20s taken away quietly.
If you don't come, our voice may not be loud enough.
(please note that these motions are far down the track and may not be called until at least 1PM.... but we need to be there for the whole time just in case!)
27 April 2010
TO: News Media
FROM: NORML New Zealand Inc
Contact Phil Saxby 021 069 4542
NORML CONDEMNS POLICE RAIDS AS "MISUSE OF RESOURCES"
Most crime is caused by alcohol and the public are demanding action over P, but today police devoted a huge amount of resources to raiding indoor gardening stores across the country.
"It’s a waste of Police time, a misuse of their resources," said Phil Saxby, spokesperson for the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "Cannabis is a low-level, Class C drug, used every year by at least 400,000 Kiwis according to the recent Law Commission report."
"Don't police have anything better to do?"
Police swoop on cornerstone of illicit cannabis cultivation industry
Police this morning swooped on 35 businesses and numerous residential
addresses throughout the country as search warrants were executed as part of
a two-year undercover Police operation codenamed ‘Operation Lime’. This
operation targeted businesses and individuals responsible for the commercial
sale of equipment to be used for growing cannabis.
The search warrants included all 16 branches and distribution centre of a
major national supplier of indoor growing supplies.
Southern District Police Target Cannabis Growers in Operation Lime
Southern Police this morning executed eight search warrants on business and
residential properties in Invercargill and Dunedin as part of the national
police undercover operation codenamed Operation Lime, targeting businesses
and individuals responsible for the commercial sale of equipment used in
The warrants related to three business and three residential properties in
Dunedin, and one business and one residential property in Invercargill.
Pot smokers out for high holiday
Gang members arrested in Dunedin drugs crackdown
Home » News » Dunedin
Wed, 21 Apr 2010
Loose dog leads police to cannabis haul
Home » News » National
Tue, 20 Apr 2010
A wandering dog inadvertently led police to a substantial cannabis haul in Otaki.
Home » News » National
Thu, 1 Apr 2010
News: National | Police
A 14-day police operation in the Bay of Plenty has led to 115 arrests, the destruction of thousands of cannabis plants, and the recovery of a significant amount of stolen property.
The bust of organised crime was throughout the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Tokoroa and Taupo.
As well as cannabis and stolen property, the raids netted varying amounts of methamphetamine and uncovered 10 indoor cannabis cultivation sites.
One of the cannabis gardens used three rooms of a house to grow the drug. The drugs haul included 43kg of dried cannabis.
Police targeted individuals and groups involved in the distribution and sale of drugs, and those dealing in stolen property and guns, Detective Senior Sergeant Lindsay Pilbrow said.