Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Purvis decision perverse. LTE - ODT

Letter to the Editor
Otago Daily Times
Purvis decision perverse.

It might be simplistic to think that Judges and Jury's regard cannabis consumers as addicted liars or that none could ever be entrepreneurial? The case of Kane Purvis [Court Reporter ODT 4 may] consuming unaccounted civil, police and justice resources should alert us to the unintended consequence of a policy that would raid someone's home with sanction of full force and effect to uphold the law. All for a commodity that even 'at the threshold for supply' would barely pay a months utilities. Mere subjective police advise determines if any unexplained note regarding a debt for less than a round of beer is grounds to sanction and stigmatize someone for life.

Meanwhile there is 40 million times the apparent criminality undetected in the community (200tonnes cannabis per annum. / 5gms ) At seven orders of magnitude of difference civil society may need to ask is this inequity sustainable, while the question for the jury, judge and prosecutor will forever be 'and what difference did this make?'

Prof. Fred Fastier described cannabis prohibition as deficient in his book 'Drugs and the Law'. The Purvis case scales how so. Cash and Cannabis are fungible commodities. The packaging, storage, distribution and proximity to each other is an accident of prohibition, not the pharmacology.

/Blair Anderson

ODT 4th May Court Reporter - Jury satisfied drug for sale.

A jury in the Dunedin District Court has decided 5g ofcannabis in the possession of Kane Jonathan Purvis (20) when police raided his home last September was intended for sale.
The jurors deliberated for more than five hours, returning to the courtroom twice to rehear passages of evidence, before reaching their decision. Following the verdict, Judge John Macdonald convicted Purvis and remanded him on bail for sentence on May 20.

The accused had denied intending to sell the cannabis which, at 5g, weighed 23g less than the level giving rise to the presumption of an intention for sale.He was charged on September 2 after police found five �tinnies� in a plastic bag along with $130 cash. In an expandable file case was found a notebook containing, among other written notes, the names of several people with cash amounts listed beside them.

The prosecution said this was a �tick list�, indicating Purvis was a drug dealer. Purvis, who denied a charge of possession for the purpose of sale, said he was a regular cannabis user and had bought the five �tinnies� from a man in a bar the previous night. He said the amounts of money listed beside the names referred to loans from the named people and other amounts related to household expenses.

After Crown and defence counsel David Robinson and Anne Stevens put their opposing arguments, Judge John Macdonald summed up the case before the jurors began their deliberations just after 11.30 yesterday morning.
The only question for them was whether the cannabis was intended for sale, they were told. Mr Robinson contended all the evidence pointed to the fact it was but Mrs Stevens said Purvis had been charged simply because when the cannabis was found, there was also money in the bag and the notebook was taken to be a �tick list�. She suggested there was a �ring of truth� to the accused�s explanation.


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