Police Need Better Work Stories
"Yet the legend continues and the press repeats it daily, and today there exists an almost collective conviction that cannabis is specifically criminogenic." - United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, 1964
New Zealand Police Alert 9:00am 8 Dec 2008 Tasman
Location of incident: Westport
Incident type: Police terminate significant drugs operation.
D/I Winter said that while there had been a recent, and proper, focus on methamphetamine as a source of harm in the community, police were still concerned about the ongoing harm caused by cannabis. (for which the Police commissioned the report "NZ Drug Harm Index" /Blair)
Tasman District figured in the top 3 Police Districts for the number of cannabis plants seized annually, and was 5th on the list of DHB hospitals recording admissions of cannabis-related harm. (double speak alert, control the language, control the dialog! and these guys are tollerated at the policy table? NZ Health Select Committee... "the harms are largely overstated" doh!)
D/I Winter said that cannabis was still the most prevalent illicit drug available in the District and police would maintain a 3-fold strategy of reducing demand, strangling the supply chain and community education on drug harm. ("the double Supply Chain in A legal Setting / Blairstandards surrounding cannabis law is an impediment to credible drug education" NZ HSC 1998 - doh!) The operation today was in accordance with that plan. The strategy included a strong focus on major growers of cannabis and this provided the potential to unlock a wider range of criminal offending. ("Cannabis is not criminogenic, whereas prohibition is.", Canadian Judge, Justice McCart, Ontario Court of Appeal)
Police believed the syndicate had been in place for some time and had a turnover in the millions of dollars. (Actually, it wasnt a syndicate, it was largely a freindly network of otherwise law abiding folk, members of the 330,000 odd casual users of cannabis, for whom the plant doesnt just materialise, it has to be grown, and the grower, in this case is the easy target and at the highest risk of prohibition harm. /Blair)
Those arrested today would appear in the Westport District Court at a special sitting at 2.15pm this afternoon. Police were also conducting searches in other locations throughout the country and those arrested as part of that phase would appear in the respective District Courts.
And all at our expense.... to achieve what measurable outcome?
A higher prevelence of methamphetamine? Greater control of the cannabis distribution by gangs with guns?
The POLICE are pretending, and in many cases, outright lying about what this is really all about. It must be "Better work stories...", as there is precious little that can be said for this latest littany of Reefer Madness.
“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active
substances known to man.” - Judge Francis Young, U.S. Department of Justice,
“[The risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.” - World Health Organization, March 1998.
*** Lucky New Zealand's Law Commission is reviewing BOTH cannabis and alcohol. Tthe outcomes will be highly instructive to a world hungry for some commonsense. /Blair Anderson