4:00AM Sunday Apr 12, 2009
By David Fisher
A club for cannabis smokers has been openly flouting the law for months, with hundreds of people a night turning up to buy and smoke dope.
The "Daktory" has been operating from an Auckland warehouse since November and boasts having 400 people on a busy night.
Those behind the scheme are involved in efforts to have the drug decriminalised, and say they accept arrest by police is a possible outcome of their provocative club.
One of those involved, Brian Borland, has taken a further tilt at authority by registering a business through the Companies Office called the Roaring Lion Cannabis Shoppe.
He says he will pay tax on any cannabis he sells through the business.
As a promotional stunt, Borland has delivered cannabis plants to the electorate office of Prime Minister John Key, and also to TVNZ and TV3.
It follows a trip around the country by the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws group in its "canna-bus". Protests were held in centres across the country where cannabis was smoked - and overlooked by police.
Daktory manager Dakta Green, who changed his name by deed poll from Kenneth Morgan, says police appeared to have been avoiding arrests because it gave the protesters a platform to campaign from.
The club began operating in November, charging $20 a month to those who wanted to become members. "It was a nice, secure place where people can get good quality weed at a reasonable price."
Green says it proved so popular that the club - which was R18 - would attract between 300 and 400 people a night, and membership reached 1500 people by Christmas. He would not reveal where he sourced the cannabis but said the large membership meant a lot was sold.
It wound down in February for reorganisation, and is reopening this week. This time, Green says it will not sell cannabis because "you can get it anywhere".
When the Herald on Sunday visited, the warehouse featured dozens of sofas, tables and bookcases, with an area for table tennis and a bandstand. There were also dozens of bongs - used for smoking cannabis - and the occasional bowl containing shreds of the drug.
Borland said police were aware of his actions. A detective recently rang to invite him to a police station to be interviewed about delivering cannabis plants to television stations.
He answered the phone with a cheery "Roaring Lion Cannabis Shoppe", only to find a police officer on the phone.
Borland was not charged over delivering the cannabis plants. Police failed to return calls to answer questions about the club.