Press Release – NORML
Cannabis campaigner Dakta Green’s discharge from court without punishment on Tuesday was a victory for everyday New Zealanders from the cannabis culture, in a year that has seen NZ Police escalating their self-defeating war on cannabis users.Campaigner’s Outcome a Victory for Kiwi Cannabis Culture
Cannabis campaigner Dakta Green’s discharge from court without punishment on Tuesday was a victory for everyday New Zealanders from the cannabis culture, in a year that has seen NZ Police escalating their self-defeating war on cannabis users.
“Earlier in the year, Judge Kiernan noted that Dakta Green presented a convincing argument for cannabis law reform,” NORML President Phil Saxby said today.
“The existing law therefore puts Judges in the awkward position of sentencing convicted people when clearly no harm has been done and no punishment deserved.”
Mr Saxby said that Judge Hubble’s decision to convict but then discharge Mr Green was an honorable way out of this bind – working within his professional obligations but ensuring the decision produced a just outcome.
Dakta Green, who founded Auckland’s cannabis club The Daktory, was found guilty on charges of selling cannabis and one charge of cannabis possession for sale, but received no punishment when sentenced in the Auckland District Court this week.
“Dakta’s avoidance of any punishment here is a real triumph for ordinary Kiwis from the cannabis culture because it marks an acknowledgment from the Judiciary that those who stand up for the rights of users of low-risk drugs like cannabis have just cause to do so,” said Mr Saxby.
This year, the NZ Police have escalated their war on cannabis users. In April, Operation Lime saw more than 30 gardening supply shops busted nationwide and 250 people arrested on a range of cannabis-related charges.
“Police have over inflated the significance of the majority of those caught with cannabis, and deliberately used entrapment techniques to gather evidence,” said Mr Saxby.
The Police were also behind the Department of Internal Affairs decision in May to send NORML News magazine to the Censor’s office, in an attempt to have it banned.
“In this light of this continued repression, cannabis campaigners all over New Zealand will be encouraged by Dakta Green’s outcome, and continue to defend the human rights of approximately 400,000 adult New Zealanders who choose to use cannabis.”