In yet another authoritarian move by the New Zealand police, they have recently released a ‘helpful guide’ for kiwis to identify both indoor and outdoor cannabis growing operations, and encourage people to dob in anyone they suspect is growing. 

Identifying factors include people ‘carrying shovels, spades and similar equipment into the bush’ and ‘unusual sightings of lights, head torches, and headlights in rural areas at night.’ To help catch anyone suspected of an indoor grow operation police advise to look for ‘constantly closed curtains and blacked-out windows, with bright lights on constantly or at strange times’. 

To extend the reach of a police state, an effective method also used in America is called ‘community policing’. This ultimately indoctrinates people into a mindset that they are an extension of the government and are considered outstanding citizens if they turn in fellow citizens for victimless crimes. In terms of cannabis, this style of policing helps reinforce the Nixon era war on drugs propaganda that illegal drugs are public enemy number one while the use of legalised drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes, which cause astronomical damage, are culturally accepted. 

Drug harm

Detective Sergeant Regan Boucher of Southern District police said “cannabis destroyed lives and relationships, and caused millions of dollars of social harm each year when users committed crimes to fund their habits.” While cannabis does cause some social harm as shown in the above graph, it pales in comparison to the overall harm caused by dangerous drugs such as alcohol.  

In New Zealand, alcohol is estimated to:

  • Factor in one third of all police apprehensions
  • Contribute to half the serious crime committed
  • Kill between 600-800 people in New Zealand a year
  • Be an important risk factor for more than 60 different disorders
  • Cost New Zealand an estimated $4.9 billion a year

Compare this to cannabis in New Zealand, which:

  • Almost half (46.4%) of New Zealanders aged 16 to 64 have tried 
  • 84% of kiwis believe it should be decriminalised for personal use
  • The New Zealand Law Commission made a recommendation to allow its medical use
  • Has been medicinally patented in spray form, known as Sativex
  • Has killed more New Zealanders policing it (four) than it has people consuming it (zero)

If the police are so concerned about the social harm caused by drugs, they should start by targeting alcohol, not cannabis. Costly police, court and corrections resources are currently being wasted on enforcing outdated laws against a plant which has been proven far safer than alcohol. Surely resources such as helicopters and the thousands of man hours currently spent on cannabis can be put to better use finding and disrupting the supply of hard drugs like methamphetamine, which are well known to cause harm to society as a whole.

John Key was last year asked by a Kapiti College student whether he would legalise medicinal cannabis, to which he replied “This is the fundamental message. Drugs are bad for you.” Rhetoric like this may have worked in the 60’s, but the youth of today have the internet and the ability to research facts themselves. It’s no surprises to see our current right wing government, which is backed by strong alcohol and tobacco lobby groups, refusing to even look at the facts. 

If we want change, we need to start an open and honest conversation about cannabis. We need to present the well documented facts to the nation and together decide if our current war on drugs is working to reduce harm or whether it’s high time we put the failures of the past behind us and made 2015 a year of progress. 

About The Author

Wake Up NZ is a team of dedicated truth-seekers from all over New Zealand. We are committed to disseminating information that the mainstream media fails to bring to you.

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4 Responses

  1. Tracy Jane

    not only that but cannabis oil has been shown to relieve the pain associated with cancer and possibly even help heal the illness – better than anything the pharmaceutical industry has come up with to date…

  2. Tracy Jane

    I have just finished reading one of the most profound books of my life “the candy machine: how cocaine took over the world” John Fieding – it is the most powerful manifesto for how to deal with ‘the drug problem’, covering history, trafficking, drugs effects and addictions, the crimes and death and destruction associated with the ‘war on drugs’ – all our police, law makers, policy writers, citizens need to read this book so we can move forward as a nation to take care of all our people in a meaningful way – whether we are drugs-users or not. Just because my mind-numbing drug of choice is legal (alcohol) why should someone else’s drug of choice be illegal?

  3. Graham Clark

    They have the answer to the problem right here QUOTE: “cannabis destroyed lives and relationships, and caused millions of dollars of social harm each year when users committed crimes to fund their habits.”
    MAKE IT LEGAL THEN and all of those problems will disappear!
    No crimes would be committed as its easy to grow. It would become really inexpensive so there would be no need to commit crimes to obtain it. Nobody would be robbed to fund peoples choice to smoke it.
    Police would not be wasting their time and taxpayers money busting people for crimes against themselves.
    There would be no profit in it for criminals to bother themselves with.
    Police could spend more time solving crimes with REAL VICTIMS, and upholding all the other laws that they have no time at present to concern themselves with – like drunk and disordely behaviour in public places
    BAD LAW is the problem – not the cannabis – And I dont even touch the stuff.

    If all you labour, national, NZ First voters were to STOP voting for immoral political parties that dont have the balls to change this law, then you could stand up and say you are part of the solution – until then you are just the cause of the problem

  4. lisa schady

    I agree with everything said here – it is my belief that the solution to many of NZ’s social problems could come in the form of wide-scale cannabis growing, functioning as a legal and well regulated market. All the funds we waste in research in alcoholism and cancer cures and the expense of exporting meat and dairy overseas, could be put into communal grow houses, where a grouping of families/suburbs/groups would attain a sense of ownership, accountability and unity over their produce; thus contributing to a better overall wellbeing of New Zealanders on the whole.


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