The Law, Logic and the UYB test!
When she was meant to have a defended hearing before a judge in Christchurch District Court today, the 63-year-old woman pleaded guilty to charges of possession of cannabis and two pipes for smoking it. (Ohhh, moral panic! two pipes! One needs to be specially gifted to use both at the same time.)
She has had suppression of her name and occupation since she first appeared in court 14 months ago, but Judge Philip Moran decided today to allow her occupation to be published. (Pity he didnt publish the name and address of the idiot who signed off the issuing of the warrant in the first place)
Crown prosecutor Kathy Bell said police searched her Christchurch home on June 4, 2007, and found a tin in the bedroom, hidden in a chest of drawers. It contained a snaplock plastic bag with 16.1g of cannabis head.
Tissue papers used to make cannabis cigarettes were also found (this is laughable), and two pipes, which had been recently used. The woman told police she had smoked cannabis for relaxation for years. (and give her stressful job, no doubt also displacing alcohol, she would in all likely hood been a better prison officer for the experience) She said she did not think it was unlawful to smoke it in her own home.
Defence counsel Jonathan Eaton said the case showed the risks of police and judges relying on information from inmates when issuing search warrants. (it shows the grave flaws of prohibition.... /Blair)
The woman was detained when she arrived at work, and remained with the police for 13-1/2 hours. (coercive care no doubt to alleviate any health risk, So how come we arrest people and make victims out of them in order to save them from themselves? /Blair )
She was subjected to a normal search, then invited to allow a body cavity search by a doctor. When the doctor thought he could feel something in the rectal search, an MRI scan was done. All proved negative. (and cost how much? another unintended consequence!)
There had been a suspicion she was bringing drugs into jail, relying on information from inmates. (even more laughable if it wasnt so damn stupid! )
"She ends up with a little bit of cannabis found in her home - nothing to do with what she had to go through,'' Eaton said.
The information that triggered the search warrant had obviously been wrong. (the search warrant was issued, by whom, based on? Is the the same "police powers to which they are not entitled" raised by Hon Tom McGuigan, Minister of Health commenting on the Misuse of Drugs Act Bill (1975))
"She's been humiliated, violated, subjected to the most intrusive procedures available to the law in New Zealand.'' (suggesting it is the law not the cannabis that is the problem ie: the policy Stupid!)
The woman has been suspended on full pay since her arrest, and she had now offered to resign. This may, or may not be accepted, but it may also involve the loss of entitlements - far more than the usual fine for cannabis offences. (more identified unintended consequences... we should remind the Hon Wollerton MP!)
Judge Moran said it was surprising that she did not know she could not smoke cannabis at home. (and nor should it be! )
He said it was outrageous that she had been set up by malicious inmates.
"The consequences of a conviction would outweigh your culpability for smoking a bit of dak at home,'' he said, discharging her without conviction.
Because of the humiliation she had suffered, he granted name suppression but decided to allow publication of her job as a woman prison officer.
"You have been humiliated enough,'' he said.