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NEW ZEALAND MARIJUANA CULTURE . HEMP . MEDICINE . ACTIVISM . LAW REFORM

MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR THE REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS, NEW ZEALAND INC. WWW.NORML.ORG.NZ

special report

California

Return of the Drug War

Prop. 19 will tax & regulate cannabis sales

NATIONAL’S NEW WAR ON CANNABIS USERS

Norml News goes on a field trip

Operation Lime WAS IT A LEMON?

Norml News sent to censors WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU

Vaporisers seized PIPES MAY BE NEXT

Your rights

UNDER ATTACK!

Dakta Green

Courtroom VICTORY & Armistice Tour www.NORML.org.nz

Morocco

Netherlands

Serious seeds interview

Spain

Spannabis, world’s largest hemp expo

Belgium

cannabis SOCIAL clubs

Jo fre in NORM ed el L iv fo er r y!

Pot arrests soar

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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Issue 47: WINTER/spring 2010

(previous numbering format Vol 14.1) ISSN 1172-9074

24,000 COPIES PRINTED AUGUST 2010 P U BL ISHE D BY N OR M L NZ INC. PO Box 3307, Auckland, NZ. Phone: 09 302-5255 Fax: 09 303-1309 Email: news@norml.org.nz Website: www.norml.org.nz ABOUT NORML NEW ZEALAND INC.

The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was formed in New Zealand in 1979. NORML is a nonprofit organisation that campaigns to end marijuana prohibition. Our aims are: • To reform New Zealand’s marijuana laws • To provide neutral, unbiased information about cannabis • To engage in political action appropriate to our aims • To inform people of their rights • To give advice and support to victims of prohibition Editor & design: Chris Fowlie Contributors: Jonathan Rennie, Harry Cording, Stephen

McIntyre, Phil Saxby, Byron Glover, Metiria Turei, Julian Crawford, Abe Gray, Naomi, The Jawa, Stjohn, Dave Beats, So Lala, and all the usual suspects. Want to contribute? Send us articles, ideas, letters, photos, comments, grow tips etc. Enclose a stamped envelope if you would like it returned. Thanks to our contributors, advertisers, distributors, IACM, NORML USA, and drugpolicycentral.org for hosting our website. Advertising: 09 302 5255 or news@norml.org.nz Printer: PMP

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Mailed free to NORML members (join on p49) and available while stocks last at selected outlets including: WHANGAREI Pied Piper,

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Disclaimer & LEGAL NOTICE: The views expressed in Norml News may not be the opinion of Norml News, NORML New Zealand Inc, our advertisers distributors or printers. Norml News is provided with no warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. The publisher assumes no responsibility for and disclaims all liability for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Some content within Norml News is included for “fair use” research, review, education and information purposes. Norml News and the publisher are not responsible for the content of advertising contained within. Publication of an advertisement does not imply our endorsement of any particular product or claims made by any advertiser.

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New Zealand LAW REFORM 6 8 10 26

Vaps seized, pipes next? Dakta Green still free! CannaBus Armistice Tour J Day reports & photos

FEATURES

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14 22 28 34

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Tax & regulate on California ballot

by Harry Cording

Norml News sent to censors

by Jonathan Rennie

Operation Lime a lemon? by Stephen McIntyre Hong Kee & the Herby Folk by The Jawa

CULTURE 36 38 40 50

Spannabis Hemp Expo

by Chris Fowlie

Interview: Simon from Serious Seeds by Chris Fowlie Moroccan Mountain high by Chris Fowlie Show Your Grow by you, The Reader!

REGULARS

30 cover photo: SUPER LEMON HAZE

PHOTO BY CANNALYST. This page: top - SJ. right - chris

World News with Harry Cording Medicinal Cannabis research with Chris Fowlie & the IACM Safer cannabis use - NORML’s harm reduction advice Know your rights and lawyers list Activist Corner How you can help change the law NORML membership/subscription form & shop

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML

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Editorial Return

of the

Drug War

THE PREZ SAYS:

Special Report

Stop the Drug Wars!

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t’s no wonder we’re paranoid. New Zealand already

had the world’s highest arrest rate for cannabis, yet it has gone up another 18 per cent over the last 4 years. It’s a return to the same failed drug war we all thought had been discredited and abandoned. Playing to a ‘tough on crime’ public mood, the government is ramping up the Drug War even more - and John Key is fronting it to the media. Yet like all previous attempts at drug prohibition, it is a policy that is destined to fail. Police spent two years and thousands of hours to raid indoor gardening stores (p28) - with not much to show and no dent in the supply of cannabis. They sent Norml News to the censors (p22), but we are still here. They’re talking about arming cops and passing tougher laws, but that will create more Drug War violence and make us all less safe. They’ve seized vaporisers and a law change in the works will ban importing or selling pipes or parts of pipes (p6). Yet smoking utensils can be made from Coke cans, juice bottles, kitchen knives and even vegetables. Despite the futility of such policies the National government seems hellbent on racheting up the War on Some Drugs. We should all be extremely worried what is happening in this country. However there is hope, from the USA of all places. California will vote this November to legalise, regulate and tax cannabis. Polls show it will most likely pass, and California will provide a template for other states - and interested nations like New Zealand - to follow. This issue also takes you to Belgium, Spain,the Netherlands and Morocco, and shows the tide is definitely turning against the failed prohibitionist policies of the past. John Key should take notice, before his words come back to haunt him.

It is way past time to end the New Zealand Drug Wars. This year is the year to support the Armistice Tour and rally at Parliament on Armistice Day, 11 November 2010!

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Only Parliament can change the he Armistice Tour is about law – and the ongoing review of the ending the drug war between Misuse of Drugs Act (MODA) by the government and people of the Law Commission is a vital step Aotearoa-New Zealand. NORML in the campaign to make Aotearoawants to bring an end to decades of New Zealand prohibition free! prejudice, hurt, and injustice. Laws must be based on justice and An Armistice means that neither the consent of the governed. This side has to admit defeat! MaryJane country’s cannabis consumers – the Cannabus is touring the North over 400,000 of them – will never and South Islands for three months, consent to to rally Kiwis CAMPAIGNING: We must gather support from their unjust around three members of all political parties persecution by principles: MODA. • Adult use only- the current drug war We are has given us the Legion highest teenage How many cannabis-use in want drug the world law reform? • Amnesty Opinion polls – stop arresting show 40% to 65% of Kiwis support the people for cannabis. NZ has the changes to the law, depending on highest arrest rate in the world for the question asked. The highest cannabis use support is to allow medicinal use of • A regulated market – marijuana. A UMR Insight poll in replace the uncontrolled criminal 2000 showed the highest support market with a regulated, taxable, for legalising/decriminalising, at cannabis trade. 61%. Even if some other polls show A just settlement of the drug wars 40% support for a law change, that should be based on these three represents around one million Kiwis proposed conditions. Chris Fowlie who support justice. That figure editor@norml.org.nz can be compared to the number of 3000 Kiwis say “we people who voted National in 2008: want justice!” 1,053,398. Over 3000 Kiwis told the Get NORML News delivered free & Law Commission this year to Phil Saxby, support drug law reform. See p49 now! end Prohibition! NORML President

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D R U G WA R F R O N T L I N E S :

Arming police will mean more Drug War casualties

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rming all frontline police could create more drug related violence and propel New Zealand further and deeper into the War on Drugs. “I am very concerned by the level of ‘fighting talk’ displayed by the Police at this moment and do not want to see armed officers going into every house they come across that smells of cannabis,” said NORML president Phil Saxby Official figures show 15% of adult Kiwis use cannabis every year. “That is over 400,000 New Zealanders put at risk and would only mean disaster for New Zealand,” he said. “The Police Association has already warned that this move would actually mean more people getting shot.” “In the so-called ‘war on drugs’, some – perhaps most – of those people could be young. Someone’s teenage son or daughter is growing some cannabis for themselves in their flat when the police come

knocking about something unrelated, smell drugs and come in with weapons.” In the United States, warrantless searches by armed police regularly end in the suspect’s fatality, often when no drugs are actually found. “NORML has deep compassion for the shot officers and their slain dog but arming police is not the answer. Ending the criminalisation of all drugs – cannabis most urgently of all – is.” “Decriminalisation is just a beginning”, says Phil Saxby. “We should be aiming at a regulated, taxable market for all low-risk drugs.” “Growing cannabis is not a violent crime but arming oneself with a gun and then using it to protect an illegal and highly valuable crop is. By regulating the supply of cannabis, we will reduce the number of situations when police will need to use guns.”

Censorship attempt is harassment By Metiria Turei, Green Party MP

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he attempt by the police to shut down NORML News was distressing and clearly harassment. It’s also an acknowledgement of the success and the power of law reform advocacy. By dispensing with mediated forms of communication , which are distorted by other interests, NORML News advocates for its community to its community and beyond its community. It is a valuable law reform tool. Lately, the political realm of drug law reform has been dominated by tobacco and alcohol issues. I have been on the Maori Affairs select committee considering the Tobacco Inquiry. 600 Maori are killed every year by this drug yet it is regulated as a food and sold in the dairy with the lollies and milk. Alcohol is the most popular drug in the country yet it is the cause of hundreds of deaths. Stephen Joyce, Minister of Transport, said he can

www.NORML.org.nz

drink three quarters of a bottle of wine and still be legal behind the wheel of a 100km/h weapon. These two drugs alone are responsible for untold deaths and millions of wasted dollars. Prohibition is not the answer and never will be. The answer lies in rational drug law that regulates drug access and use according to evidence of its harms, its benefits and a respect for human rights. New Zealand’s drug laws are irrational and that is what drives the harms we see splayed on the roads and wheezing on oxygen machines. The debate about cannabis law reform may seem on the back burner at the moment. We need to seize this opportunity presented to us. While the country is excited about alcohol and tobacco we need to call for reform again. New Zealand really is in desperate need for rational evidence-based drug law reform that is consistent and just. Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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NEW ZEALAND NEWS

Harm reduction equipment seized, new law to ban pipes

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new law proposed by Peter Dunne and the National Government w ill outlaw importing or selling pipes and pipe parts, effectively cutting off the supply of harm reduction equ ipment for c a n n abis users. The proposed amendment to t he M i su se of D r u g s Act preempts the Law Commission’s review of the law, just as the commissioners have proposed reducing or eliminating penalties for drug use. Dunne wants to create a new offence of offering a cannabis pipe for sale, and another new offence of importing or selling a “visibly identifiable component” of a cannabis or methamphetamine utensil. T h i s c o u ld me a n yo u r

favourite store goes out of business, and you go back to smoking from coke cans and plastic bottles stuffed with garden hose. There is also the very real potential for other legitimate items to be seized - anything that “looks” like it might be a part of a pipe is up for grabs. T he bi l l a l so c onta i n s provisions to allow ERMA to classify substances scheduled in the Misuse of Drug Act. This is believed to be about paving the way to putting synthetic cannabinoids (commonly sold as incense), Salvia Divinorum and DMA (sold as geranium oil-based party pills) into Class D of the act. Meanwhile, Customs ramped up their harassment of industry players. After seizing hemp lollipops from

The Hempstore, then giving them back 6 mont h s l ate r, C u stom s have seized their h a r m -r e d uc i n g aromatherapy vaporisers. First they seized them as meth pipes, but now they say they are hash pipes. Top: the so-called ‘hash pipe’. Below: The Hempstore’s pieces of metal like this would be illegal appl ic at ion for review was between colleag ues. A d i s m i s s e d b y C u s to m’s shipment of cigarette-shaped comptroller Martyn Dunne, so metal tubes was also seized they are now appealing to the as “meth pipes” but when Customs Appeal Authority. the Hempstore objected they Customs officer Chris Owen were given back. admitted the “independent review” and “legal advice” You can help. Tell your MP referred to in the comptroller’s pipes are important harmreport were little more than reducing devices that deserve watercooler conversations protection.

Drug War Doubles Dealers By Byron Glover

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new report shows how prohibition is not working. The Statistics New Zealand report “Patterns in Police Apprehensions in New Zealand 2005/06 to 2008/09” reveals the NZ Police are arresting more people for drugs, these people are getting younger, and they are more likely to be prosecuted. Drugs offenses make up around 9% of all prosecution-level offenses the police deal with. However, Cannabis makes up 70% of drug-related apprehensions. In the four years to 2009, apprehensions for possession/use of cannabis went up 18%, while dealing increased 105%. And it’s getting worse: last year alone over 1500 more people were caught for possession/use than in any of the three prior years. In comparison, apprehensions for minor assault rose 29% in the same period. You may think minor assault, as a violent offense, would be a higher

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Return of the

Drug War Special Report priority than cannabis possession. However, this does not reflect the police’s standpoint on the matter. Only 59% of minor assaults initially result in prosecution compared to a 77% prosecution rate for cannabis use/ possession. As another comparison, someone detained for fighting is 11% more likely to be let off with only a warning from an officer than someone caught smoking a joint. More people are going to prison for cannabis as well. The Ministry of Justice calculates the “gravity” of offences depending on the proportion of people who are convicted of an offence, the rate that the conviction results in imprisonment, and the average length

of imprisonment. In 2009 alone, the “gravity” of dealing and trafficking in Cannabis rose more than 30% on the three years prior. This increasing trend also can be seen in the dealing or trafficking of other substances. Interestingly, however, the “gravity” attached by our judicial system to cannabis cultivation is higher than the “gravity” value for the manufacturing or cultivation of other drugs. The median age of people who are busted for cannabis use and the infamous ‘cannabis needle/syringe’ charge is 22 and 23 respectively. This reflects a trend throughout the report that police are overwhelmingly more likely to go after young people, with the age of highest likelihood of arrest being 17. The report shows more people are being arrested for cannabis, more people go to prison for growing pot than for making other drugs like P, and more people are arrested due to cannabis than all other drugs put together - twice over! Patterns in Police Apprehensions in New Zealand 2005/06 to 2008/09 is at tinyurl. com/29xkdu8 www.NORML.org.nz

Photo: Chris

Customs have seized harm-reducing vaporisers, while a new law will ban pipes and pipe parts.


NEW ZEALAND NEWS

PM’s P promise just smoke and mirrors

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rime Minister John Key’s promise of a reduction in the availability of P by next year is more smoke and mirrors from a Government that would rather amp up the ‘War on Drugs’ than take a considered look at sensible alternatives.

NORML’s priorities for

drug law reform Stop arresting cannabis users: the Government should immediately declare a moratorium on arresting those who choose to use cannabis. Allow medicinal use - let doctors decide, not police and politicians. Decriminalisation: remove all penalties for the use, possession and growing of cannabis by adults and the non-profit transfer of small amounts. The draconian search provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act should be removed and criminal records for cannabis offences wiped. Regulation: a commercial market for marijuana will always exist. It is better to regulate that market than leave it to organised crime.

A year ago, Prime Minister John Key told Paul Holmes: “I don’t think you can eradicate drugs from your community ... any politician that tells you they can do that is either being dishonest or a bit deluded in their outlook.” Now, he believes harsh laws and penalties will somehow solve the problem “by next year”. He’s painting us a fairytale picture which couldn’t be further from the truth. No amount of police work has ever intercepted more than a fraction of the supply of any illegal drug. All they can do is put certain suppliers out of business, to the benefit of their competitors. A recent review of 20 years of research into drug policy and enforcement by the Canadabased International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) found the vast majority of police seizures and arrests led directly to increased violence. De spite ye ar s of similar political rhetoric and everincreasing powers given to www.NORML.org.nz

We support the introduction of Dutch-style cannabis cafes. Overseas experience shows cannabis law changes have not been associated with increased use. Reasonable restrictions: as with alcohol consumption, cannabis use should be limited to adults. Driving or operating heavy machinery while impaired should remain prohibited. Harm minimisation: policies should discourage irresponsible use, including use by adolescents. Prevention is most effective where cannabis is viewed from a public health perspective, instead of a criminal justice perspective.

both Police and Customs, a new report released by John Key who wants to be identified with this crusade - shows the price of ‘P’ has remained stable and the drug has never been easier to obtain. Producers of meth have used cannabis distribution channels to push it on pot smokers and increase their market. More than 400,000 Kiwis will use cannabis this year. The best way to reduce demand for ‘P’ is to ensure people have safe, legal access to cannabis - in a controlled environment and without being offered other drugs. K e y ’s A u c k l a n d h o m e was burgled by a P addict, who was stealing to pay the vastly inflated prices for illicit methamphetamine. The addict was sentenced to five years imprisonment, where it is unlikely he will receive any treatment. See tinyurl.com/279xblw; tinyurl. com/25ngnuf

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NEW ZEALAND News

Photos by Harry Cording; simonprast.com

Dakta Green still a free man!

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akta Green has won another victory in his ongoing battle for legal cannabis, with a sentencing judge saying he had ‘already suffered considerably’ when discharging him on charges of supplying cannabis and possession for supply.

M r G re e n, w h o fo u n d e d Auckland’s cannabis smoking c l u b T h e D a k t o r y, w a s found guilty but received no punishment when sentenced in the Auckland District Court on July 27. Earlier in the year, Judge Kiernan noted that Dakta Green presented a convincing argument for cannabis law reform,” commented NORML President Phil Saxby. “The existing law puts Judges in the awk w a rd po sition of sentencing people when clearly no harm has been done and no punishment deserved. 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.” The charges date from a 4:20 protest at Albert Park in August 2007 when Dakta Green was

arrested by Constable Owen Arapai, who made it his mission to harass the 4:20 sessions. Arapai claimed to be able to see bags of weed and money changing hands from 35 metres away, although bags of Nope nettle tea bagged up to look

You have already suffered considerably.” - Judge Hubble in the Auckland District Court.

like a 50 - were also being passed around at the protest. The case finally went to a jury trial in February, after Dakta Green’s application for a stay of proceedings was declined. The jury found him guilty - a verdict that seemed to surprise both the judge and prosecutor when it was handed down. After several postponements, Dakta Green and a small band of supporters gathered at the Auckland District Court to await sentencing. The Crown admitted the case was of a “minor nature”

Legalise cannabis for the Rugby World Cup Instead of promoting alcohol at “Party Central”, the government should listen to Auckland’s many cannabissmoking rugby fans.

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and some form of community service would be appropriate. They noted that prison “had not deterred him one bit.” Representing himself, Dakta Green told the court the jury was mistaken in its verdict, as it did not take into account the

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principle of reasonable doubt. He added, “The irony is, I didn’t do what I was accused of.” He pointed out that since his arrest in May 2006, he has faced over 20 cannabis charges and on nearly all of them he has been acquitted or the charges were withdrawn. Judge Graham Hubble acknowledged the merits of the law reform campaign. “You are legitimately pursuing a campaign,” he said. “I am simply bound by the law as it exists. You have already suffered considerably.”

ORML president Phil Saxby has written to the Cabinet arguing that cannabis should be regulated in time for the Rugby World Cup in order to decrease alcohol violence during World Cup parties. “We need to learn from Portugal’s experience. They openly permitted cannabis use during the European World Cup and it was a success: there was far less violence.” “Portugal’s drug laws since 2001 have regulated all drug use through a nonCourt process called Commissions of Dissuasion, with greatly improved health results.” During the Euro 2004 tournament between France and England, 50,000 fans — branded as ‘hooligans’ and notorious for their drunken antics and ability to instigate all-out riots — descended upon

Since May 2006 Dakta Green has been either on bail, under curfew, or living at a designated address, with occasional nights in jail. “You present a rather unique set of circumstances to the court,” added Judge Hubble. “The jury may well have found that the charges were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.” H e r ule d ou t di sc h a rge without conviction as inappropriate, but gave Dakta Green the next best thing conviction and discharge, with no penalty. When the verdict was announced, Dakta Green’s supporters gave him a round of applause. Dakta Green still has another trial to get through, on charges arising from last year’s raid on the Daktory. This jury trial is scheduled to start on November 15.

Lisbon. Rather than ban alcohol, the authorities decided instead to sanction cannabis use by English and French fans before the game, and to stricly enforce alcohol laws. As a result, the match took place without incident, even in the immediate aftermath of England’s 2-1 defeat. “At least 400,000 New Zealanders currently smoke cannabis. It is a part of rugby culture in New Zealand and NORML believes the sanctioning of cannabis use at big sporting events like this is an efficient way to cut down on over-the-top drunken behaviour”, Phil Saxby said. NORML will be reminding the Cabinet of Portugal’s successful experiment, every time there is an outbreak of alcoholfuelled violence, whether it be sporting events or New Years gatherings. www.NORML.org.nz


Aucklanders have a Mayoral candidate worth voting for

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imon Prast - best known for starring in 80’s soap Gloss and directing the Auckland Theatre Company has put his hat in the ring and announced he supports a rethink of our drug laws, as well as a return of the annual Hero parade.

Mr Prast admitted he had experimented with drugs i n the past - i nclud i ng methamphetamine - and he called for meth to be decriminalised and treated like tobacco or alcohol. “I’ve had to wrestle with both alcohol and drugs, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get myself together, intact,” Prast told TVNZ’s One News. “I would ask anyone to cite a single incident in society where prohibition has ever worked...I think it’s a very ineffective and expensive way of dealing with a very serious problem.” Prast said countries such as Portugal have “quite successfully” drastically overhauled their drug laws, and is happy to spark a debate on drug law reform. Prast thinks it is time for a new generation of leadership, and says the fact he does not come from a political background gives him an advantage over John Banks and Len Brown. “I’m not a multimillionaire a nd I don’t t h i n k t h i s campaign is about throwing money at it either, I think it is really about connecting with the electorate, I think the people are looking for a bit of respect, a bit of clarity, and a bit of communication.” What are Simon Prast’s chances? In the 2007 local body elections the voter turnout was only 44%. In official government surveys, 50.2% of New Zealand’s adu lt popu lation ad m it to breaking the law and www.NORML.org.nz

trying at least one illicit drug. With a catchment of 1.5 million people in the greater Auckland region, that means at least 780,000 people in the region have tried at least one illegal drug - more than the number of people it takes to elect a Mayor. In comparison, the other candidates appear unable to see past outdated drug war terminology: · John Banks “going soft is not the answer.” Prast’s “proposition is lunacy”. · Len Brow n “doesn’t support softening drug laws in New Zealand” · C ol i n C ra ig “ver y hesitant to relax drug laws at all” · Ewen Gilmore “totally disagrees” and says it is “an issue for parliament”. Are you able to vote? If you are on the roll you will have already received an enrollment update pack in the mail. If not enrol online at elections.org.nz or at any Post Shop. Phone 0800 ENROL NOW or text your name and address to 3676. More: www.simonprast.com; tinyurl.com/2cdf8fy; www. elections.org.nz/enrol Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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Armistice tour

CannaBus Armistice Tour Nationwide tour campaigning for drug peace CULMINATES AT PARLIAMENT ON 11 NOVEMBER 2010 By Harry Cording

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n armistice takes place document and when two sides agree to stop on our arrival at fighting so they can negotiate. Parliament we will On behalf of New Zealand’s ask all Members of cannabis users, NORML is Parliament to end the asking the government for drugs war and sign an armistice in the war the document.” against the cannabis Maryjane is ready community. for the trip - complete August 11 sees with new engine - the ur We’re coming to yo the launch of the fully reconditioned website town! Check our Armistice tour, engine from the ts and with Dakta original Cannabus. for daily broadcas : Green and The exchange of updates of the tour .org.nz crew taking engines took place at w w w.thedaktory the Cannabus the Daktory, with one on a three-month corner turned into a terms of the armistice: workshop - harking journey around We want Triple-A Justice! the country. The tour back to the time when is intended to build support for an · Adults only (R18 regulation/control of the the building was an armistice, to rally supporters for a automotive workshop. cannabis market) massive protest in Wellington, and to While on the road · Amnesty – stop the arrests, halt the let the government know how much it Maryjane will be is out of step with public opinion. fully IT capable. prosecutions, release the imprisoned On November 11, 1918, an armistice Dakta Green will · A regulated, taxable market for ended the fighting in World War One. broadcast live on the cannabis and other low-risk drugs The day became known as Armistice internet every day as Day and became a day to remember all he and the crew talk and talk about the law. It will be an those who died in the war. with locals. On the ideal opportunity for many who are “in On November 11, 2010, the New Daktory website - www.thedaktory.org. the closet” to show their support for Zealand Parliament will be in session. nz - people will be able to follow the law reform. Temporary Daktories can The Armistice tour will be there to progress of the tour. open for a night under a marquee in a present their formal demand for a suitable location. he Armistice Tour needs your “cease fire” - an end to arrests and The tour will target the electorate help to fund its travel costs. If you prosecutions for cannabis. offices of Members of Parliament, and want to see the end of prohibition, your On August 11 at 11 am there will MPs will be invited to front up and tell donation can make a difference. If you be a dedication ceremony at the voters where they stand. Copies of an are able to donate to the cause, please Cape Reinga lighthouse to mark the Armistice document will be available do so to the following account: beginning of the tour. Following the ceremony, Maryjane will lead a hikoi to for people to sign as a token of their Name: Armistice Tour Fund 2010 support for law reform. Parliament. Account Number: After a march from Peter Dunne’s 38 9010 0242901 00 electorate office in Petone, the hikoi he Cannabus and crew will spend will arrive at Parliament at the historic two months in the North Island and Follow the tour progress including webcam feeds at time of the armistice - the 11th hour www.thedaktory.co.nz a month in the South Island, stopping of the 11th day of the 11th month in all cities and most towns. The full (November 11 at 11am.) route is nearly 6000 kms. Dakta Green says, “During this Public meetings will be held wherever journey we will ask the public to a venue can be found. Locals will be become a signatory to the Armistice invited to meet the Cannabus team

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Organising to win How do people, in a democracy, change the law? By Phil Saxby - NORML president.

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ORML advocates the peaceful change of our drug laws, not revolution. Sometimes, we use nonviolent civil disobedience. Mostly, we use standard campaigning methods to influence public opinion and lobby MPs. Given that Parliament often holds a free vote (“conscience vote”) on socialchange issues, such as gay law reform, prostitution law reform and so on, the views of every single MP is important.

2. Educating and informing the public, media, MPs and each other Overall, the Law Commission review has been disappointingly tame. Its recommendation on medicinal cannabis is welcome, and would bring us into line with many other countries and 14 of the United States of America. The big problem is prohibition. The Law Commission has not started from first principles. Instead of proposing regulation and controls that work, it says we should keep using the same old controls that don’t work. 3000 submissions from ordinary Kiwis asked for more!

A regulated cannabis market means adult-only use. Instead, NZ has the Changing the law is easier if there highest rate of teenage exists a well-documented cannabis-use in the alternative, presented by an world. Is th is what official body. That is how Simon Power rea lly Aotearoa-New Zealand got wants? The “key” is to MMP – it was the unanimous regain control of the proposal from the 1986 Royal trade in cannabis and Commission on the Electoral other drugs. Portugal System, “Towards a Better has shown us the health Democracy”. b e ne f its t h at c ome This year, the Misuse of from taking a different Drugs Act 1974 is being approach. independently reviewed by The Law Commission the NZ Law Commission. The has a mandate to make outcome should be a set of pr op o s a l s t h at a r e official proposals to improve Makes a great rolling board. consistent w ith ou r our drug control laws. On internationa l treaty its own, the report may be ignored – the obligations. Even so, it should clearly Minister of Justice (Simon Power) has state that current law, whether it is the already dismissed the discussion paper New Zealand Act or international drug issued by the Commission in February. conventions, has largely failed in its That is where more activists are needed purpose of protecting the health of the – so that the report cannot be ignored! public from drug harm. Organising to win means a two pronged In the end, the international prohibitionist approach: treaties need to be replaced with a better model. 1. Non-violent direct action, such This country’s cannabis consumers – as the Armistice Tour, J-Day, over 400,000 of them, according to the protesting at rallies, 4.20s, etc. Law Commission – will never consent to Supporting the Armistice Tour is one way their unjust persecution under the Misuse of putting drug law reform on the political of Drugs Act, but they would agree to be agenda, so that the Law Commission’s taxed. We need to take this message to final report cannot be brushed under the the public, the media and MPs! Support carpet. This report is due at the end of the NORML’s efforts to put drug law reform year, so actions by NORML that increase on the political agenda today! public awareness of the work of the Law Commission are vital. Organising to Win

www.NORML.org.nz

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Cannabis Social Club brings in Belgium’s first legal harvest

Russian to run UN drug office

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ussian diplomat Yuri Fedotov is the new director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, after current director Antonio Maria Costa leaves. Fedotov’s appointment would give Russia greater influence on international drug policies which would be bad news, if Russia’s own drug policies are anything to go by. They have been described as “one of the most horrible in the world”. Russia is one of the few countries where methadone and buprenorphine are illegal for addiction treatment. There are almost two million injecting drug users in Russia and 37% of them are HIV positive, thanks largely to needle sharing. Needle exchange programs in Russia are run solely by international aid donors, while the government has cut funding. At the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Russia has consistently attempted to block any initiative on harm reduction for HIV prevention relating to injecting drug use. Russia’s anti- drug laws are harsh. Possession of any amount of illegal drugs, or being under their influence, can cost the user several years in prison. Police can force anyone to take a blood or urine test if they are suspected to be under the influence of drugs, and enforce the law strictly unless you can pay a large bribe. Activists for legalising cannabis risk arrest, and it is illegal for media outlets to provide information about drugs. However, drugs are widely available and canabis and opium poppies grow wild over large areas. Discrimination against drug users, homosexuals and sex workers is official policy while the government promotes “traditional values”. These factors have made drug policy experts fear that Fedotov’s appointment would be a major step backwards for law reform.

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fter almost four years of effort, Belgium’s cannabis social club has harvested its first legally grown cannabis plants and presented the crop to members. again planted a cannabis Possession of up to 3 seed during the Million grams of cannabis and Marijuana March (J Day cultivation of 1 female here in New Zealand). pl a nt h av e not b e e n Boa rd members were prosecuted in Belgium again arrested and seeds since 2005. confiscated. In February A cannabis social club 2009 the chairman of called Trekt Uw Plant T r e k t U w P l a nt w a s ( P u l l You r Pla nt) has fined 1000 euros, but in successfully tested this February 2010 the club g uideline by planting was again acquitted by cannabis seeds in public. the Court of Appeal. Both times association Belgium has now taken members were arrested, legally organise collective found guilty, appealed cultivation of cannabis for a step further than the a nd wer e event u a l l y personal use through a Netherlands, where the sale of small quantities is acquitted. private club. Because of the Trekt Uw Plant started tolerated, but cultivation acquittals Trekt Uw Plant in July 2006, planting is not. Trekt Uw Plant uses has concluded that it fits a cannabis seed in the within the intent of the Botanical Gardens in o r g a n i c c u l t i v a t i o n Belgian law. They now Antwerp. The seed turned methods, with no risk of want to let the estimated into a “huge motherplant”, contamination as is the 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 c a n n a b i s and club board members case on the black market, consumers in Belgium took cutti ngs for the and the club is adults know that it is possible to first 6 members. Police only. Club members can confiscated everything now reserve their own and arrested the board plant, on the condition members. In 2007 they that he/she is an adult, were convicted and fined, l ives i n Belg iu m a nd but in June 2008 they consumes cannabis. were acquitted by the See www.trektuwplant.be; Court of Appeal. http://tinyurl.com/2f2b2uc In 2008 Trekt Uw Plant

NORML remembers ‘The Hemperor’ Jack Herer

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ack Herer, the noted author and activist who was known to marijuana law reformers world wide as ‘The Hemperor,’ died April 15 as a result of complications stemming from a September 2009 heart attack. He was 70 years old. Herer had spent the better part of the past four decades advocating for the legalisation of cannabis, particularly the non-psychoactive variety of the plant. He received worldwide recognition in the late 1980s and early 1990s for the publication of his seminal work, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which sold over 600,000 copies — making it the most widely read marijuana law reform title ever published. The book’s tagline,

“How hemp can still save the world,” introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the environmental and industrial uses of cannabis, which in turn re-launched the modern day hemp movement and global hemp industry. In 1999 Jack suffered a stroke, but by mid-2000 he appeared to have made almost a full recovery, a feat he credited to the power of hemp’s therapeutic properties. Herer had just finished speaking at a marijuana-law reform event, The Portland Hempstalk, in September when he suffered his heart attack. NORML expresses its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Jack Herer. www.NORML.org.nz

Trekt Uw Plant

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Reality Catchyer

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UNODC bulletin 1960-01-01-003

Czech govt: small amounts are ok Czech law already tolerates people having “a small amount” of illegal drugs, and now the Government has defined exactly how much people are allowed to have. The new Penal Code, which took effect on January 1, contains special provisions on cannabis and magic mushrooms for personal use. The list of permitted hallucinogenic plants includes cannabis, coca, mescaline cactus and magic mushrooms. People will be allowed to grow up to five plants and keep 40 magic mushrooms at home. Currently, tolerated amounts of drugs are p r e s e n t d e f i n e d by police internal directives, making it impossible for consumers to know what amount is considered larger than “a small amount,” which they are entitled to have. Possession of more than 15 grams of dried marijuana or two grams of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin will still incur penalties. Source: www.ceskenoviny.cz Left: this engraving is from the Czech edition of Mathioli’s herbal from the year 1596.

For the latest international cannabis news, download

NORML’s Daily Audio Stash Potcast

stash.norml.org www.NORML.org.nz

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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WORLD wide weed WITH HARRY

CORDING

Proposition 19 will legalise, regulate and tax cannabis in California by Harry Cording

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he price of bud could drop to an average of US$38 an ounce if California votes to legalise, regulate and tax cannabis this November.

Californians will vote on Proposition 19, a referendum to legalise cannabis. It will be a historic vote watched by the cannabis community worldwide. There is also a bill before the California legislature, introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, to legalise and tax cannabis for recreational use. Ammiano’s bill proposes a $50 an ounce tax, which would raise much needed funds to ease California’s budget crisis. Estimates of potential tax revenues range from $650 million to $1.49 billion. California could save a comparable amount by ending arrests and prosecutions for cannabis. A further benefit would be ending the violence that is an inevitable byproduct of a black market. However, the costs of collecting taxes and regulating the legal market are unknown. Neither bill will change California’s medicinal cannabis dispensaries or restrict people from growing their own. The referendum has a fair chance of passing, but there is organised opposition from law enforcement agencies, which have been a growth industry thanks to the drug war. If it succeeds, California will be the first in the world to re-legalise cannabis. California has long been on the cutting edge of marijuana policy reform. In 1975 it reduced the maximum sentence for possessing less than an ounce from jail to a $100 fine. In 1996 California became the first US state to allow the use of cannabis for medical reasons, a law now adopted by 13 other states.

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California’s biggest cash crop

Opposition to legalisation In the months leading up to California’s referendum on legalising cannabis, there has been the expected opposition from law enforcement types and drug treatment providers who see their cash cows under threat. Their ranks have been joined by some medical marijuana dispensary owners, who are publicly opposing the legalisation of the product they sell, and even contributing to campaigns against it. One of them is Craig, a dispensary owner in Venice Beach, who said “I’ll give you two reasons. One is big tobacco. The minute marijuana becomes legal, they’ll mass produce and flood the market. And of course, they’ll add the same toxins they put in regular cigarettes to get you addicted, and very little THC, so you’ll have to buy more... In short, they’re going to ruin weed.” There is no truth in this. California’s referendum would allow people to grow their own - a threat to the profits of people like

It is estimated that between 400 and 500 tonnes of herb are consumed in California each year. But it’s not all mellow: approximately 1500 people are in prison for cannabis, and there has been a 30% increase in marijuana arrests since 2005. The forecast of cheap pot comes from Altered State, a report produced by the Rand Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Centre covering the possible effects of legalisation on cannabis

Craig - and would enable the market to be regulated so that harmful additives would be kept out. Furthermore, the legal market will give consumers a choice - so if “big tobacco’s” product is inferior, people won’t buy it. Craig goes on: “Two, legalization will mean more fifteen-year-old kids smoking pot. Anything that will probably make more 15year-olds put substances in their bodies, in my opinion, is a bad thing.” There is no evidence to support his claim. Since California legalised medicinal cannabis in 1996, teen use of marijuana has decreased. Currently it is easier for California teenagers to buy marijuana than alcohol - which would change is cannabis was legalised and sold through licensed outlets with age restrictions. The real reason for Craig’s opposition came out later in the interview. “Last month,” Craig explained proudly, “there were 24 operating marijuana collectives in Venice. A month from now, there will only be two. And we’ll be one of them.” Like any businessman, Craig would not want to encourage increased competition and lower prices. www.NORML.org.nz


INTERNATIONAL NEWS Planting a seed: legalising cannabis will generate millions of dollars in taxes

prices and consumption levels. Currently prices range from US$300 to $450 an ounce. Rand researchers based their estimates of the potential price drop on the cost of growing indoors in an average 150 square metre building. They projected that this price level could lower prices throughout the USA, encourage tourism to California, and disrupt marijuana smuggling from Mexico. California is a major tourist destination. Tourism brings in $87 billion per year, which generates $5.4 billion in taxes. Cannabis tourism could boost this total, going by Amsterdam’s experience. Of the 4.5 million tourists annually who spend a night in Amsterdam, 26% visit a coffeeshop, and 10% mention this as a primary reason to visit the city. The report raised the prospect of widespread evasion of the $50 an ounce tax, which would more

www.NORML.org.nz

than double the projected price and stimulate an underground market designed to avoid taxes. It noted “The financial reward for evading the $50 per ounce tax on a pound of marijuana after legalization will be greater than the financial reward is today for smuggling a pound of marijuana from Mexico into California.” With regard to potential increases in consumption after legalisation, the Dutch have a much lower rate of cannabis use than in many countries where prohibition is strongly enforced - including the USA and New Zealand. Studies of both legal and illegal drug use have concluded that price is not a long term factor in people’s decisions to use their drugs of choice. If the referendum succeeds, cannabis would still be illegal under federal law

and California would be in conflict with international drug control treaties the United States has signed. Possible responses from the federal government could include allocating more resources to prosecutions in California for violating federal laws, suing the State of California, and withholding federal budget grants. The Obama administration has sought to minimize conflict around medical cannabis, but new “drug czar” Gil Kerlikowske has said “Legalisation is not in my vocabulary.” The Rand report concludes: “No one should assume that the alternative to legalization is the status quo. California could become more marijuana-friendly regardless of legalization. California will likely be an altered state regardless of whether legalization passes.” www.taxcannabis.org; www.canorml.org; the Rand study is at tinyurl.com/2fffhnj

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WORLD wide weed WITH HARRY

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Medicinal cannabis progress in the USA This year several American states have improved access to medicinal cannabis for patients, while others are moving toward legalising the herb as a medicine. In Maine, the state’s first operating licenses were awarded to six nonprofit dispensaries that are due to open later this year. Last November voters approved an initiative that made Maine the third medical marijuana state to allow dispensary licenses, and the first to do so through the ballot. New Mexico was the first state to license dispensaries. It has granted approval to another six, bringing the state’s total of nonprofit dispensaries to 11. In Oregon it seems likely that voters will add dispensaries to the state’s law in November. The state Dept of Human Services has issued more than 36,000 Oregon medical-cannabis cards and says cards will no longer be limited to Oregon residents. Rhode Island has been holding hearings on applicants for dispensary licenses, while New Jersey is considering similar plans. In Colorado dispensaries are springing up so fast, licensing authorities can’t keep up. Denver has around 250 dispensaries and Boulder has more than 100. So far the state has issued more than 66,000 ID cards that allow holders to purchase medical cannabis, but there is a six-month waiting period. In Michigan, one year after the state’s medical cannabis law took effect, there is a three-month backlog for registration cards. The Dept of Community Health is getting about 1000 applications a week. By April it had issued 13,239 permits for use of cannabis and 5460 permits for caregivers to grow it. The District of Columbia, America’s capital, is not a state - it is governed by a district council under the supervision of the federal government. This setup has made it harder for DC residents to access medicinal cannabis. They voted in favour of it in a referendum back in 1998, but since then the federal government has been obstructing the will of the people. It now appears that the healing herb will finally become a reality for Washington, DC. Federal legal obstructions have been repealed and the district’s council has voted unanimously to legalise the sale of medicinal cannabis. Up to eight medical cannabis distribution centers will open DC, subject to restrictions on where they can be located. Patients will be allowed to possess up to four ounces, but DC patients will not be allowed to grow their own.

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Californians reject racist law

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pinion polls show support for Prop 19 is building in California, and one of the reasons is the racist application of the current law.

African Americans are less likely than whites to use cannabis, but are far more likely to be arrested by police for possessing it. “Young blacks use marijuana at lower rates than young whites. Yet from 2004 through 2008, in every one of the 25 largest counties in California, blacks were arrested for marijuana possession at higher rates than whites, typically at double, triple or even quadruple the rate of whites,” said researchers at the Queens College, City University of New York and Shenandoah University in Virginia. Citing the new report (available at http://tinyurl.com/2a4kcqz), leaders from the California chapter of the NAACP expressed its “unconditional support” for Proposition 19: The Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Initiative 2010, which would allow adults 21 years or older to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. It would also permit local governments the option to authorize the retail sale and commercial cultivation of cannabis to adults. Personal marijuana cultivation or not-for-profit sales of marijuana would not be taxed under

Blacks, Latinos arrested more for marijuana possession offenses

Support for Prop 19:

Yes 52% No 36% - Public Policy Polling July 23-25, 2010 the measure. Alice Huffman, President of the California State Conference of the NAACP stated: “We have empirical proof that the application of the marijuana laws has been unfairly applied to young people of color. ... We are joining a growing number of medical professionals, labor organizations, law enforcement authorities, local municipalities, and approximately 56% of the public, in saying that it is time to (depenalize) the [adult] use of marijuana.” Other supporters of the ‘legalise and tax’ campaign include Jocelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon General, American Federation of Teachers, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Communications Workers of America, California Young Democrats, Republican Liberty Caucus, Green Par ty of California, and the US Libertarian Party.

www.NORML.org.nz


www.NORML.org.nz

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MEDiCiNAL CANNABiS

Cannabis News You Won’t See in the Mainstream Media

Don’t panic, it’s organic Most people use cannabis to relax or chill out, but for some - especially novice users - it can bring on feelings of anxiety. Now a large study of 5,672 subjects has examined the relationship between cannabis use and panic attacks. Researchers found those who had used cannabis at some point in their life were more likely to have at some point been diagnosed with panic attacks. However after controlling for nicotine dependence cannabis was not found to be associated with current (past-year) panic attacks. Zvolensky MJ, et al. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 2010;18(2):129-34.

Worried about failing a piss test because of passive smoking from your pothead flatmate or boyfriend? Well, quit bugging them! In the name of science, eight healthy subjects endured passive exposure to cannabis smoke for three hours in a Dutch coffee shop. German scientists found THC could be detected in trace amounts in blood samples taken 1.5 hours and 3.5 hours after exposure, but it was not detectable after 6 hours. Röhrich J, et al. J Anal Toxicol 2010;34(4):196-203.

Sports motivation Scientists at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, investigated the importance of the body’s cannabinoid system in the regulation of physical activity. They concluded that “while endocannabinoids seem to contribute to the motivational aspects of voluntary running in rodents, influencing the total distance covered most likely via CB1 receptors, they are less involved in the long-term changes of emotional behavior induced by voluntary exercise.” Fuss J, Gass P. Exp Neurol 2010 Mar 27.

Painfully clear A new study is the first to show nerve pain causes alterations in cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Chronic constriction of a nerve reduced the activity of cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptors in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex of mice. Hoot MR, et al. Brain Res. 2010 Apr 6.

Patient’s Support Group www.greencross.org.nz

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Passive smoking

Urine testing unlikely to identify drugged employees or reduce accidents, says study

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orkplace urine testing programs are a poor method for identifying employees who are under the influence, and do not significantly reduce job accident rates, according to a study published in the scientific journal Addiction. Researchers found: “[I]t is not clear that heavy cannabis users represent a meaningful job safety risk unless using before work or on the job; urine tests have poor validity and low sensitivity to detect employees who represent a safety risk; drug testing is related to reductions in the prevalence of cannabis positive tests among employees, but this might not translate into fewer cannabis users; and urinalysis has not been shown to have a meaningful impact on job injury/ accident rates.” Authors concluded, “Urinalysis testing is not recommended as a diagnostic tool to identify employees who represent a job safety risk from cannabis use.” Urinalysis detects the presence of inert, fat soluble byproducts of marijuana, the most common of which remains present in urine for days, weeks, or even months after past use — long after any psychoactive effects of the drug have worn off.

Marijuana Use Seldom Associated With Emergency Room Visits

Lifetime use of marijuana is rarely associated with emergency room visits, according to an data published by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Subjects that reported using cannabis were the least likely to report an ED visit, while the most likely were those who used heroin, tranquilizers, or inhalants. Investigators concluded, “[M] arijuana was by far the most commonly used (illicit) drug, but individuals who used marijuana had a low prevalence of drug-related ED visits.” These findings belie the myth that adult marijuana use is a primary cause of hospitalisations or emergency department visits. The reality is that few if any therapeutic or psychoactive substances possess a safety profile comparable to cannabis.

The study, “Testing for cannabis in the workplace: a review of the evidence” appears in the February 2010 issue of Addiction. www.NORML.org.nz


MEDiCiNAL CANNABiS

Desire for more pot & food influenced by cannabinoids The munchies are a well known side effect of consuming cannabis. However a new study has found cannabidiol (CBD) reduces the appetite-enhancing effects of THC - and also makes people less likely to spark that second joint. Subjects were tested while have. They compared purified straight and also while “acutely natural THC, synthetic THC under the influence of their own (dronabinol), and what is called chosen smoked cannabis”. A THC Botanical Drug Substance sample of cannabis was collected (THC-BDS), “a standardized from each person and analysed cannabis extract comparable in for levels of cannabinoids. Sativa composition to recreationally used strains tend to have a lower cannabis.” While all three induced ratio of CBD:THC while indica “classical” munchie effects, they strains tend to have more CBD. found “significant, albeit subtle, When under the influence of differences” with the THC-BDS, cannabis, smokers of cannabis which they said resulted from with a comparatively high- other cannabinoids present in the CBD content showed reduced plant extract. “These compounds preference for consuming more and other non-cannabinoids weed or food compared with have an emerging and diverse those with low-CBD. pharmacology and can modulate Meanwhile, researchers at the THC ... making them worth University of Reading in the UK further investigation for their were the first to investigated therapeutic potential.” the importance of THC and any Farrimond et al. tinyurl.com/2e7ekzn; influence other cannabinoids may Morgan. Neuropsypharm 2010 Apr 28

Legal Highs · Ethnobotanicals Smokers Supplies · Vaporizers · Books

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Cancer cell death THC exhibits cancer-inhibiting effects in cancer cells of the bile duct, according to experiments at Rangsit University in Patumthani, Thailand. This natural plant cannabinoid inhibited cancer proliferation, migration and invasion, induced cell apoptosis (death), and reduced tumour cell survival. The cancer cells, whch possessed cannabinoid receptors, were taken from patients. Leelawat S. Cancer Invest 2010;28(4):357-63.

Methamphetamine brain toxicity Meth fries the brain - and the cannabinoid system helps repair it. Giving methamphetamine (or ‘P’) to mice resulted in the growth of CB1 receptors in several brain regions. Researchers said the toxicity of methamphetamine to brain cells may cause this change, which increases the neuroprotective properties of the endocannabinoid system. Reseachers said that the observed changes in the brain suggest meth users may get different effects from cannabis than people who have not used meth. Bortolato M, et al. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Apr 6.

Take heart Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany found a CB1 receptor antagonist improved the vasodilation of the aorta and decreased free radicals in the heart in mice that had been fed with cholesterol-rich diet for seven weeks. Tiyerili V, et al. Basic Res Cardiol. 2010 Apr 2.

www.NORML.org.nz

the latest research is at www.cannabis-med.org Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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MEDiCiNAL CANNABiS No abuse Researchers at McGill University in Canada found the abuse potential of the cannabinoid nabilone (synthetic THC), which is available on medical prescription in Canada and other countries, is “probably low”. They noted that reports of nabilone abuse are extremely rare. Ware MA and St Arnaud-Trempe E. Addiction 2010;105(3):494-503.

Volcano Medic The German company Vapormed has launched the world’s first officially approved medical cannabinoid inhaler, the Volcano Medic Vaporizer. The Volcano Medic Vaporization System facilitates the inhalation either of dronabinol (THC) dissolved in alcohol or cannabinoids from cannabis flowers. See www.vapormed.com

Smart thinking Getting potheads high does not significantly alter their performance in computerized cognitive tasks, according to research from Columbia University in the USA. 24 volunteers who reported smoking more than 3 joints per day participated in tests where they received either placebo or cannabis cigarettes. Hart CL, et al. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun 18.

Budding Birth The blood concentration of anandamide, the body’s own version of THC, increases during labour. A new study at the University of Leicester found there was a 50% increase in anandamide during labour. A big rise in blood anandamide levels was associated with a quick labour and vice versa. While the body’s own cannabinoids clearly play a part in development and birth, exposition to cannabis before birth may be associated with deficits in later life. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh followed children with prenatal exposure to different drugs until the age of 16. As was the case for prenatal tobacco exposure, cannabis exposure was also associated with deficits in visual-motor coordination. Nallendran V, et al. BJOG. 2010 Apr 20; Willford JA, et al. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2010 Jun 30

the latest research is at www.cannabis-med.org

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Sativex in UK pharmacies But real cannabis is still cheaper than the pharmaceutical extract

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he cannabis extract Sativex is now available at pharmacies in the UK, and although cheaper than US-made Marinol, which is the world’s most expensive form of THC, it is still cheapest to supply patients with real herbal cannabis or let them grow their own. Sativex is a liquid whole plant extract, Of all the ways of supplying THC made by GW Pharmaceuticals and to patients in need, natural cannabis marketed by Bayer Schering Pharma, remains the cheapest of them all that is sprayed into the mouth and used - and often outperforms extracts for the treatment of spasticity due to or synthetic substitutes due to the multiple sclerosis. synergistic combination of the various Each spray of Sativex contains 2.7 active ingredients. mg THC (dronabinol) and 2.5 mg In the Netherlands, five varieties CBD (cannabidiol). The price in the of real herbal cannabis are sold in UK for a 10 ml vial, containing about p h a r m a c i e s . T h e s t r a i n s h a v e 90 sprays, is £125 (NZ$265). One standardised cannabinoid profiles and milligram of THC therefore costs about are tested and screened for mold and one New Zealand dollar, give or take chemical residues. The price of THC in a few cents. the cannabis variety Bedrocan, which In America, the price of Marinol is 19 per cent THC and costs ¤9 per (synthetic THC) is about US$2.20 per gram, is about ¤0.05/mg (or 8 NZ mg (NZ$3). cents) making it the cheapest form of In Germany the price of synthetic legal THC available in the world. THC (‘dronabinol’) is also more Legal bud is even cheaper. In California, expensive than Sativex, at about ¤0.80 the Rand Corporation says the price of per mg (NZ$1.40). However a German cannabis could drop to US$38 an ounce company called THC Pharm grows if it were legalised there. That’s almost cannabis under licence and extracts one tenth the price of Bedrocan. the active ingredients - which is pretty Sativex is available in New Zealand only with similar to Sativex - but can produce it special permission from the Minister of Health. A handful of patients are currently approved, but for only 63 NZ cents per mg. funding remains an issue. See www.gw-pharm.com;

Schizophrenia link not clear cut It’s common knowledge that cannabis use causes psychosis right? Wrong. Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York investigated whether cannabis use disorders (CUD) are associated with an earlier age at onset of psychosis. They compared 49 schizophrenia subjects with a cannabis use disorder with 51 schizophrenia subjects with no substance use disorders. They found out that “although cannabis use precedes the onset of illness in most patients, there was no significant association between

onset of illness and CUD that was not accounted for by demographic and clinical variables. Previous studies implicating CUD in the onset of schizophrenia may need to more comprehensively assess the relationship between CUD and schizophrenia.” Meanwhile, doctors at the Edmundston Regional Hospital in New Brunswick, Canada, asked 8 men suffering from schizophrenia for their reasons for current or past cannabis use. The findings indicate “that cannabis is used as a means of satisfying the schizophrenia-related need for relaxation, sense of self-worth, and distraction.” Sevy S, et al. Schizophr Res. 2010 May 12; Francoeur N. Can J Nurs Res 2010;42(1):132-49 www.NORML.org.nz


MEDiCiNAL CANNABiS

Elderly medpot user to keep her home By Jonathan Rennie

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aeroa grandmother Dawn Danby will not lose her home, a threat that the police have kept hanging over her since her home was raided in February 2007.

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Dawn uses cannabis to treat severe chronic pain resulting from a botched operation, as well as for arthritis. Following her arrest for cultivation and supply, police had slapped a Proceeds of Crime Act restraining order on her home, apparently gearing up to have it confiscated. It has since transpired, however, that police had six months to complete the confiscation, which they did not do. This means Dawn’s house is safe, and has been for over two years. Neither the courts nor the police had the courtesy to tell Dawn (despite her lawyer’s repeated requests for information from the Crown Prosecutor), who only found out when she read it in a tabloid this July.

This is in keeping with the on-going police and courtroom incompetence that has characterised Dawn’s prosecution. At the time, police netted the then 69 year-old great grandmother and her private medicinal crop, which amounted to 12 potted plants, five of them seedlings. But the Crown spun a drug dealer yarn to the jury, overestimating the yields and adding other prohibitionist tall tales. “The jury heard a series of distortions”, says Dawn. Much of her evidence was suppressed and an international medpot expert was barred from appearing. Dawn was wrongly convicted (in NORML’s opinion) and sentenced to one year’s home detention and 300 hours community service. Dawn has never bowed to the trumpedup supply charges, despite considerable pressure from police. The experience has led Dawn to become a staunch law reform supporter. We are proud to have her among our ranks.

www.NORML.org.nz

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Return of the

Drug War Special Report

sent to the

censors By Jonathan Rennie

Police and Internal Affairs Conspire to Silence Norml News

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uppressed documents uncovered by Norml News have revealed that Internal Affairs officers fronted a covert police initiative to get Norml News totally banned.

The censors’ office was apparently reluctant to go as far as their superiors were pushing them, as the ban attempt failed. But the conspirators still managed to exact an R18 ruling on three issues of the magazine. This classification potentially criminalises anyone with children, who has copies of the restricted editions in their home. And the threat to the magazine’s very existence was real and intended. The identity and rank of the police officers involved remains hidden. One week after the “Operation Lime” raids on the eve of J-Day this year, it transpired that three issues of Norml News had been sent to the Office of Film & Literature Classification for censorship. These issues were, Norml News Winter 2009, Spring 2009, and Summer 2010. A ripple of concern passed through the NORML activist community as it was realised that, because these were three consecutive issues, the censors could use them to make a “serial publication order”, which would mean all existing editions of the magazine banned, with NORML prohibited from publishing any more issues. NORML learned of the attack from the Classification Office, who were obliged to notify the publishers. Mainstream media picked up the story and NZ officialdom’s book-burning aspirations were briefly aired to the nation. Chris Fowlie, Editor of Norml News, drafted a submission to the Classification Office opposing any form of censorship of the freedom-fighting magazine. Also, he made a request to Internal Affairs under the Official Information Act, for more light to be shed on how the magazines had appeared before the censors in the first place. Fowlie smelt several rats. Early mainstream media reports on the censorship offensive had been vague and at odds with the prima facie evidence. The police claimed they had no direct involvement with the censorship action, even though the magazines fell into Internal Affair’s hands around the time of the gardening shop busts, wherein several copies had been seized. Despite this obvious link, a spokesperson for the Classification Office evasively

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implied that the ban attempt had not originated from police. Meanwhile, Internal Affairs head honcho Boyle demurred that he was only “seeking guidance” on the magazine from his censorship team. But he submitted three consecutive issues, handing his censors the power to provide “guidance” to ban Norml News outright, which is a heavy sort of advice for a government executive to be soliciting on a whim. On the day that Norml News learned that the Classification Office had chosen not to ban the publication, but instead ruled the three submitted issues as R18, Fowlie also received the results of his information request. The disclosed documents reveal that two police officers arranged a secret meeting with Internal Affairs departmental heads on 31 March 2010, one month before the garden shop raids, “during which the existence of several publications dealing with the cultivation of cannabis and other illegal activity was discussed.” Three days after the raids, Jon Peacock, on behalf of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, sent a letter to the Chief Censor that requests a ban of not only the three issues submitted, but also requests “consideration is given to issuing a serial publication order on the publication.” It is difficult to believe that this classification offensive against Norml News did not originate from the Police who attended the meeting in March, who, the documents show, were also gunning for High Times and Cannabis Culture magazines while they were at it. Internal Affairs have refused to reveal the names of the officers in question, stating that to do so would “be likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law”. But how? – the sensitivity of these officer’s identities looks suspicious, considering their apparent capacity to impress Internal Affairs bosses with the notion of banning several popular magazines out of the blue. The officers had also provided to Internal Affairs a property sheet from the “PNHQ” station, listing seized copies of Norml News, Cannabis Culture and High Times. Confiscation of these titles was a feature of the Operation Lime raids. Several of the victims of the gardening shop busts have been charged with being in possession of “objectionable publications”, although none of the publications that were seized and handed to the censors www.NORML.org.nz


What R18 Actually Means To Us & You • The R18 ruling only applies to these three issues: Winter 2009, Spring 2009, Summer 2010 (shown at left). • When on public display these issues must carry the official R18 sticker. • When given, sold or supplied to the public they must carry the R18 sticker. • In the home they must not be made available to anyone under the age of 18. • If they a re, a nyone con side re d responsible, whether they knew about the restriction or not, is liable for prosecution. • Anyone found guilty, who was not aware of the restriction, is liable to a fine of up to $3000 or $10000 if a body corporate. • Anyone found guilty, who the courts believe was or should have been aware of the restriction, is liable to serve a prison

censorship

term of up to three months, or a fine of up to $10000 if an individual; or a fine of up to $25000 if a body corporate. The main point here is that Norml News readers and distributors need to take these restrictions seriously and treat the R18 issues much as though they were hard pornography. We know that this is ridiculous, but our law enforcers may not. If you are the victim of a drugs raid and R18 copies of Norml News are seen in plain view of children, this could be added to your list of charges. This is a basic guide. Concerned readers and distributors are encouraged to look up the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 s125(1,2,3) & s126(1,3) and familiarise themselves with the law on this point. See www.legislation. govt.nz or tinyurl.com/ypgohx

had been ruled objectionable at the time. This raises the question: was all this just to beef up “Operation Lime”? Or is the Drug Squad frustrated that the information Norml News provides is helping to thwart their habitual encroachment on the civil rights of ordinary Kiwis? Or worse, did they act out of fear that NORML and its publications may soon succeed in bringing about a law change, ending their high-powered cowboys and indians lifestyle? “We are outraged at this blatant political interference in our campaign for sensible drug laws,” says Fowlie. “Police are lying to the media and misleading the public. They should admit they are behind this censorship, rather than hiding behind the faceless grey suits of Wellington.” If Norml News had been ruled objectionable, police could have used suspected possession of the magazines as a pretext for further attacks upon private homes and property. Although police failed to have Norml News banned, the R18 ruling could still criminalise thousands of people who have an old copy somewhere, and kids in the house. NORML printed 96,000 copies of these three issues, and presumably many will still be in reader’s homes. continues over page

What Morals? NORML News perused the Classification Office’s database to see what magazines have been restricted in NZ in the last ten years. Not surprisingly, drug prohibition has created a weird moral distortion in the decision making process for what magazines New Zealanders are deemed to be allowed to read. If NORML News had been banned, apart from plenty of other cannabis related publications, it would have joined the company of such titles as Animal Perversion - Animal Magazine 1; Teenyland - Young & Nasty 45; and Master Cockfight. It is alarming that Internal Affairs thought it was reasonable to try and get a political lobby magazine like Norml News lumped in with publications about bestiality and paedophilia. www.NORML.org.nz

Worse, Customs succeeded in doing so with some issues of High Times and Cannabis Culture. Even with its R18 restriction, the Norml News Three now join other herby looking publications blushing amid such salacious titles as 500 Uncensored Sex Acts Collectors Edition #93; and Bizarre Fetish and Fantasy (Issues 20-23). Given that most of the restricted publications listed in the database appear to have been submitted to the censors by Internal Affairs or Customs, one detects something of an old-guard puritanical obsession with sex and drugs gripping these departments. Especially notable is the complete absence of magazine titles dealing with weapons or violence in any of the restricted categories, not even R13. Not even PG.

Above: documents released under the Official Information Act show police asked Internal Affairs to ban Norml News, among other things. Left: these three issues have been classified R18. Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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Return of the

Drug War Special Report

Norml News versus Censorship

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o, democratically speaking, how can a publication that gives voice to a community seeking respite from unjust laws be reasonably considered “objectionable”? This question is especially pertinent, considering there have been no complaints from the public about any issue of Norml News magazine, despite over a million copies printed and disseminated over the last twenty years. The legal definition of “objectionable” as set out in the Film, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993, is material that, “describes, depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty, or violence in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good.” Obviously the only matter upon which Norml News transgresses here is the “crime” aspect, but only in so far as cannabis is currently against the law, the very circumstances which the publication seeks to change. To encourage debate on a matter as urgent as effective drug policy, can hardly be considered “injurious”. However, according to subsequent sections of the Act, a publication is also objectionable if it “promotes, supports or encourages” these matters, particularly “criminal acts”. But weight must also be given to the “dominant effect” of the publication as a whole. Rulings by the Film Literature and Review Board on other publications relating to cannabis law reform have confirmed that the advocation of a cannabis-friendly lifestyle and/or of cannabis law reform does not equate with advocation of the crime itself. This position was set down in their 1998 decision on the importation of High Times, and then again for Cannabis Culture in 2004. In both instances, the censors emphasised that the “dominant effect” of the publications is not to encourage criminal activities, even though aspects of their content could be interpreted this way. This consideration given to “dominant effect”, versus sporadic transgressions, is crucial in censorship cases. The content that could be construed as encouraging cannabis “crime”, for both Cannabis Culture and the Norml News Three, relates to cultivation and hash making information. As Fowlie points out in his submission against the ban attempt, Norml News has even less of this content than either High Times or Cannabis Culture. “The grow section of Norml News is a much smaller part than it is for other marijuana-related publications, and is clearly aimed at the personal home grower”, says Fowlie. He goes on point out that, “both in legislation and social attitudes, home growing is [no longer] considered a serious crime.” Also, the censors admit in their decision that the hash making article in Norml News Winter 09, “is not sufficiently detailed to adequately instruct anyone in the extraction process without recourse to further

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instructions.” NORML’s submission also explains that Norml News’ “commitment to drug education includes a regular column on Safer Cannabis Use as well as NORML’s Principles of Responsible Marijuana Use in every issue. This is in line with the government’s National Drug Policy of harm minimisation.” By and large, the censors appear to agree. Their decision begins with a mandatory general description of the contents of The letter from Internal the three disputed issues, which Affairs asking for Norml makes for interesting reading, News to be banned. as it gives a clear picture of the thoughtfulness and depth of Norml News as a publication. They go on to concede that the dominant effect of the magazine is not to promote crime, saying, “By far the greater part of the editorial content of all three issues is about the law reform debate in some form,” and continues, “Content that provides specific advice on the cultivation of cannabis plants is limited to a few pages in each magazine.” However, the Classification Office had performed a half-turn on this issue, a few years previous, with a ruling on Cannabis Culture Oct/Nov 2003, introducing the slippery concept that although the magazine did not really encourage crime, youthful readers could misconstrue the content as an inducement to use cannabis, so that issue was ruled objectionable, even though the same decision contained the remark that “there is nothing in the magazine directed at the interests of a youthful readership”. It was this decision that the review board used as their benchmark for classifying the Norml News Three as R18, for which they posited similar justifications.

The Norml News Three: Classified R18

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his decision was the last job to be overseen by Chief Censor Bill Hastings in that role. Hastings was due to be moved on, with the National government culling executives from the Clark era. He has been given a position as a judge. In the event, Hastings and his staff at the Office of Film and Literature Classification ruled the Norml News Three: “Objectionable except if the availability of the publication is restricted to persons who have attained the age of 18 years”. This classification imposes the condition that when the magazine is on public display, it must have a Film and Literature Labelling Body-issued R18 sticker on the front cover, and outlets should ask younger looking customers for ID before supplying them with the three restricted issues. Importantly, the R18 classification applies to existing copies readers already have. There are criminal penalties for allowing underage persons to access these three issues. But does the Board’s R18 reasoning stack up? The censors concede that, “it is to some extent inevitable that publications which are critical of certain laws and which advocate law reform will be supportive of the behaviour www.NORML.org.nz


censorship that those laws criminalise.” But then These 3 issues are now they resort to the youth argument. The classified as R18. No other decision claims that, “In the hands of issues are restricted - yet. children and young persons who are less likely to read the content… these magazines… are much more likely to take on a promotional character.” Further to this, the censors invoke sections of the Act prohibiting depictions of conduct that “if imitated, could result in serious harm or injury.” They then go on to theorise that “ill prepared experimentation with cannabis” by young people could result from reading Norml News, who may consequently suffer serious harm. They assert that even though, “all three issues of the magazine contain a guide to safe and responsible cannabis use, including harm reduction and heath advice… the magazines ‘normalise’ cannabis use and may make what is currently forbidden attractive to young people.” While noting the implicit insult to the intelligence of Kiwi youth, it is very difficult to see how a young person even lightly perusing Norml News could fail to absorb the magazine’s emphasis on law reform and research, and its adults-only, safety-first attitude to cannabis use. Norml News also points out that it is not this publication that makes cannabis use “attractive” to young people, but rather the sheen of rebellious glamour conjured by criminalisation and the consequential obscuration and censorship of information about the plant, lending it an artificial air of alluring mystery. The R18 ruling will only serve to enhance this “forbidden fruit” effect.

Free The Norml News Three!

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ome have suggested that we should just accept the R18 ruling. After all, NORML does advocate that cannabis use itself should be R18. But Norml News warns against confusing these issues. It is vital to the function of a free and democratic society that the distinction be maintained between reading, speaking or thinking about something; and actually doing it. Norml News remains emphatic that the magazine is suitable for underaged readership. The magazine repeatedly state’s NORML’s position that cannabis should be R18 and that underaged use is inappropriate, as well as supplying regular harm reduction advice stressing moderation of use and other sensible practices. For that section of NZ youth who are at risk of drug harm, Norml News is a far more trusted source of information than any current “drug education” programme running, and therefore a more valuable tool for reaching these teenagers with its vital messages of abstinence, moderation, safe practice, civil rights knowledge and personal empowerment. To deny these at-risk youths this health resource is to abandon them to the ineptitude of failed mainstream drug education programmes. The suggestion that this sort of information be denied to young people on the almost certainly spurious grounds that it “encourages use” is as insidious and dangerous as denying them access to condoms for similar reasons, and any ground we give to such nonsense is territory lost, and counter-productive to our aims. Needless to say, Norml News intends to appeal the ruling.

Censors Out of Whack With Public Opinion Attempts to restrict any cannabis related title for “dealing with matters of crime” seem wrong-headed given that the criminal status of cannabis use is so seriously debated. These surveys reported in Norml News’ submission to the Classification Office show that democratically viewed, cannabis is morally decriminalised already. · A TV3/TNZ poll from November 2006 found 63 per cent of respondents support legalising marijuana for pain relief. · A UMR Insight poll published in The Dominion in August 2000 found 61 per cent of New Zealanders support cannabis decriminalisation or legalisation. · A One News/ Colmar Brunton poll in April 2000 also found support for law reform had grown since

their last poll. 55% approved law changes, while 40% were opposed. · Nearly one in two adults (49.0%) aged 16–64 years has ever used ‘any drugs’ for recreational purposes in their lifetime, equating to about 1,292,700 people. The majority had used cannabis, with 46.4% of all people aged 16–64 years having used cannabis in their lifetime.

See norml.org.nz/article710; norml.org.nz/article714; censorship.govt.nz www.NORML.org.nz

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

25


Kiwi Cannabis Culture Presents ‘images of freedom’

! y a D J nal day al internatio u n n a n a s bal a ay w ition and glo ib h ro Saturday 1 M p is b a n ainst can cities around 0 0 2 r e v o of protest ag in , f our culture celebration o Words by The Jawa. the world. Photos by Chris Fowlie, Dave Beats, ALCP

us crew The CannaB lington went to Wel

ord onstrators came out in rec All over the countr y, dem d goo a s ay thi s yea r. It wa numbe rs to support J-D is ent vem mo is law reform indication that the cannab roa. tea Ao in g win gro strong and ted 350 peeps to Frank rac J-Day in the capitol att ntral in view of Wellington Ce Kit ts Park to celebrate L RM NO ng alo , kta Green Police Station. At 4.20 Da ate did can al yor ma n gto llin We president Phil Saxby and the ong march to smoke out Al Mansell, led a 30 0 str , ard odw Wo e arli ised by Ch steps of Parliament. Organ any t hou wit ed old unf ivities the Windy Cit y J-Day act the . The crowd grooved to lice po m fro ce ran rfe inte B, ie Jos , eon Spinster, Mid Dubstep sounds of Djs Jafa Mafia’s new PA dy. Reme Psychedelic Jellyfish and sic powered Auck mu h wit k, Par ert Alb land J Day Auckland went hard in , Jafa Mafia sound system provided by the kick-ass er wa s sweet and over and friends. The weath . Sp ee che s fro m Ch ris 20 00 pe ep s cam e up

NORML’s Principles of Responsible Marijuana Use Adults Only. Cannabis consumption is for adults only. It is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children. Set and Setting. The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her mind-set and physical setting, and regulate use accordingly. Resist Abuse.

Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users

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Safe Driving. The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other heavy machinery while impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) impaired by any other substance or condition, including prescription medicines or fatigue. Respect the Rights of Others. Responsible cannabis

users do not violate the rights of others, observe accepted standards of courtesy, and respect the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis. www.NORML.org.nz


Mike Finlayson added Fowlie, Metiria Turei and store stall wa s a hit . mp inspir ation, while the He tting station cranked all The donations-driven spo . hing back into the crowd arvo, with the queue stretc wa s an nm Iro s er’ ow Gr Unfor tunately the annual the Operation Lime raids, cancelled this year due to back! but we’re sure it will be ted live bands and other sen pre ay J-D ton Hamil Lake Stage in Hamilton ue activities at the picturesq oke, it was a mysterious Gardens. Cloaked in sm event. around 250 came to Dunedin got sunshine and celebrate the Herb. groove to local DJs and wa s op en ed by Ke vin Ch ris tch urc h J-D ay the ALCP, and warmly O’Connell, pre sident of sts . Ch ris tch urc h law gre ete d by 42 0 act ivi t ough a half pounder join reformers chugged thr ch roa nt gia the h wit ur, in jus t les s tha n an ho to ALCP Deput y Leader handed ceremoniously ho no urs . Gr ee n Pa rty Mi ke Bri tne ll for fin al orehouse gave a speech representative David Mo licy, and later, Unitarian po on Green law reform d Derek McCullough hel Church representative r. wa g dru the of s vic tim a minute’s silence the Paula , son der An ir Bla ed Other speakers includ a by, who was armed with Lamber t and J’nette Sax e enu rev t los the resenting billion dollar cheque rep Law 150 in lled pu rs of pro hib itio n. Fac ilit ato by the end of the day. Commission submissions and Ma rk Bradford Mu sician s Nik kie Pix ton , Hayne and The eon Gid and bands Ansthesiac, entertainment. Thanks Dreggs provided hearty donated his P.A and his to Mark Bradford who sound system skills. rs, en ter tai ne rs and Th ank s to all vol un tee who helped make J-Day various dedicated peeps 2010. a success in their town in er, badder! oki Next year: big ger, sm

rei encourages nt. Right: Metiria Tu joi d un po lfha ’s ch Left: Christchur : Auckland at 4:20 w Commission. Below submissions to the La

thanks to www.NORML.org.nz

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

27


Return of the

Drug War Special Report

Was e m i L n o i t a r e Opa total lemon? Here’s what really happened Operation Lime may be a case of the Police firing their first shots in a new War on Cannabis, writes Stephen McIntyre.

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pril’s nationwide police swoop on hydroponic garden supply shops was a major step backwards in the implementation of sensible drug policies. What had until then been perceived by the New Zealanders as a degree of de facto tolerance towards home cultivation for personal use was suddenly peeled away to reveal a new level of hard-line, zero-tolerance policing of cannabis and cannabis users. Now, given the timing of the raids and a number of other factors which have since come to light, there is much concern over the level of political motivation behind the Police actions. Has the State announced a new War on Cannabis?

Questionable Timing

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olice say they spent two years in undercover work amassing evidence before undertaking the raids, but it’s curious how they decided to bust thirty five stores right across the country only days before J Day – the cannabis culture’s biggest and most highly visible public event of the year. It’s also curious that the raids happened during the final week in which the general public got to make submissions for the Law Commission’s review of the Misuse of Drugs Act; as well as being the same time that the Law Commission’s report suggesting a major tightening up of alcohol regulation was tabled in Parliament. A look at that week’s newspaper front pages indicates what effect that had on public perception: the major dailies devoting lead space to stories with headlines like “Cannabis and Co.”, and the Law Commission’s recommendations on alcohol winding up on page 2 or 3. Then early in May, after the initial storm had calmed down – in what appears to be a further case of manipulative headline grabbing – results were released from a top-secret

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Operation Lime: myths & facts

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ail conditions have been lifted at all stores. There is no requirement to show ID or leave any details. Of the 99 raids on customers and staff, Norml News understands only 1 was commercial scale. Management have been charged with customer’s grows. In Nelson the local newspaper reported the Switched On manager was busted with 15 kilos but it was only 15 grams.

Guns? That customer was a pest controller. He told Norml News police moved his hunting rifles next to his home grow for the media. Lamp shades were not the only product made for Hydro Wholesalers Ltd by Corrections Dept prison labour. O n F a c e b o o k ? Yo u can suppor t Switched On Gardener or share a thought on Facebook. (tinyurl.com/292jpm3). They had over 3500 fans at press time - nice!

police study involving scientists growing crops of ‘superstrength’ cannabis. The findings of the study released exclusively by the Police to the Sunday News revealed that ESR scientists were able to use hydroponic equipment to produce cannabis with THC levels as high as 25.3%. After having used the very best scientists to grow the most high-potency pot, the Police then compared that with seized street samples to nonsensically conclude that New Zealand cannabis is now four times stronger than it was when last tested in 1996! One nonsensical conclusion leading to another, Police then claimed that cannabis potency had increased significantly in recent years due to criminals using hydroponic growing equipment, like that sold at garden supply shops.

www.NORML.org.nz


Operation Lime Follwoing Operation Lime there has been no noticeable drop in the supply of cannabis

Police use old ‘queerbaiting’ techniques to entrap people

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erhaps, most disturbingly of all, evidence has recently come to light revealing that during Operation Lime, undercover officers gave gardening shop staff ‘sob stories’ about terminally-ill parents before asking for tips on cannabis cultivation. Transcripts have been made public of a taped conversation in which an undercover officer tells a New Plymouth shop assistant that her mother is terminally ill with cancer.

People from the cannabis culture are being discriminated against in much the same way that gay men were singled out and persecuted in the days before homosexual law reform.”

The officer then points to the book ‘Marijuana Horticulture – the Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible’, which was available in the store, and the two discuss cultivation techniques before a sale is made. This sort of behaviour shows police methodology sinking low indeed and harks back to dark days when gay men got solicited in public toilets by undercover police in tight fitting jeans and then arrested. The lawyer for the New Plymouth shop assistant has described this behaviour as “harassment”, saying that police entrapped him into having the knowledge that the items being sold were to be used for illicit cultivation. It also suggests that, by pursuing stores in this way, police must have been so desperate to produce better-looking results from Operation Lime they resorted to ‘queer-baiting’ style techniques. The New Plymouth man has since pleaded guilty to counts of supplying drug-related equipment after selling the book and some fertiliser to the undercover officer. But the reality is that both items can be purchased from a wide range of outlets: fertiliser suitable for cannabis is available at any garden store, while ‘Marijuana Horticulture – the Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible’ (as well as a wide range of other titles pertaining to cannabis cultivation) can be ordered online through Whitcoulls. This could well lead one to question whether the Police aren’t being selective in whom they choose to prosecute. It seems that people from the cannabis culture are being discriminated against in much the same way that gay men were singled out and persecuted in the days before homosexual law reform. continues over page

www.NORML.org.nz

Operation Lime: key points from the Police file

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ov 2008 - April 2010: undercover Police officers were deployed to all sixteen stores of Switched on Gardener as well as other indoor garden supply shops nationwide. Police say the investigation identified 31 retail stores and three online sites in New Zealand were ‘knowingly supplying equipment and materials to people who intended to use the items to cultivate cannabis.’ On April 27 at least five hundred cops raided these stores, as well as the homes of many workers and owners. Police have laid charges relating to 138 offences they say were committed by frontline retail staff members who interacted with undercover officers posing as customers: · 111 offences of supplying equipment/

materials for cannabis cultivation; · 12 x selling cannabis; · 9 x offering to sell cannabis; · 1 x producing hash; · 5 x cultivating cannabis. As part of Operation Lime, some regular shop customers were profiled by Police. As a result 99 search warrants were executed throughout the country - an average of just over one per week and they found cannabis growing at eighty seven of these places. A total of 21.5kg of dried cannabis and 7276 cannabis plants, clones and seedlings was seized in all the raids on workers and customers. At least 250 people were arrested on 750 charges. Norml News understands however, that after all that effort only one grow op was commercial scale.

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

29


Return of the

Drug War

Operation Lime came up with one commercial grow. This wasn’t it.

Special Report

Police may have significantly over-inflated the seriousness of those trapped by Operation Lime.”

Breaking the “cornerstone of the cannabis cultivation industry” – yeah, right! In the course of researching this article it has become apparent the Police may have significantly over-inflated the seriousness of those trapped by Operation Lime. Newspapers passed on police claims they had broken the “cornerstone of the illicit cannabis cultivation industry”, but we understand that from a total of 119 raids, there was only one that was apparently found to be commercial. Supporting this theory is the fact that since the April busts, NORML’s bustline has been called by many of those stung in Operation Lime and our volunteers have only heard reports of personal home growers being arrested. The New Plymouth shop assistant, for example, had his home raided where police discovered seven cannabis plants and a personal stash of eleven grams (approximately 12 joints). Hardly a commercial operator: clearly this grow was big enough for personal use only. In Invercargill, the 50-year old owner of Europa Hydroponics was charged with selling lights, hydroponic equipment, a book on cannabis cultivation and copies of NORML News. He allegedly gave an undercover officer advice on growing cannabis. The owner told NORML News it took nine police officers to raid his shop, while a further fifteen overturned his house as his wife, her mother and some elderly aunts – interrupted during morning tea – looked on in disbelief. No drugs were found anywhere. At five of the sixteen SOG stores (Glenfield, Henderson, Pakuranga, Whangarei, Dunedin), employees were only been charged with supplying ‘equipment or materials for the cultivation of cannabis’. For the staff at the Glenfield branch this meant they were arrested for doing nothing more serious than selling a bag of potting mix and a High Times magazine! So much for breaking the ‘cornerstone’ of the cannabis industry. To date, 250 people have been arrested in Operation Lime. As a result there are cases coming up in court rooms all over the country. How many are like these: inordinately trivial yet costing the taxpayer significant sums of money?

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More Police Hype? The police have seemingly been so intent to make bold public assertions before individual cases have even gone to court about links between those busted and organised criminal groups that certain claims made by Police concerning Operation Lime raids and reported in the papers at the time require challenging. For example, statements that methamphetamine were being sold over the counter in some shops have never been followed up by reporters or verified; neither have claims of stolen property being uncovered. Since April, the Police have been silent on the matter; while NORML has heard nothing to support such accusations. So just how much truth is there to them? There was also a haul of semi-automatic weapons said to have been seized during the April raids that were staged and pictured next to a cannabis grow and then offered as evidence of links to organised crime (back to the “cornerstone of the industry” theory), but NORML understands that the owner of the guns in question was a hunter/pest controller by trade and that the weapons were his means of livelihood. His tools of trade remain in the hands of Police and as such he has been unable to work since April. Meanwhile, in Nelson it was reported that one garden shop employee was busted with a whopping 15 kilograms of cannabis, when it was in fact only a very modest personal stash of 15 grams. As the source of the information was the Police, one must assume that the typo also came from them. The boldest claim of them all, and the one which police seem to be working hardest at maintaining in the face of growing skepticism, is their uncovering of an organised criminal network making up the “cornerstone” of New Zealand’s illicit cannabis cultivation industry. However, that’s a mighty long bow to draw and requires charging the business and shop owners with complicity in the actions of their staff, as well as complicity in the actions of the customers of stores all around the country! The fact that this is an area untested in law, begs the question: just how far does culpability go? Keith Miller of Easy Grow, for example, was caught with nothing but has been charged with his customers’ grows. Despite also not being caught with any drugs, Michael www.NORML.org.nz


Quinlan, the Director of SOG, has had his house and accounts frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act and has been charged with charged with Participation in an Organised Criminal Group, Cultivation of Cannabis, and Supplying Equipment / Materials for Cultivation of Cannabis. Could the CEO of Toyota be held responsible when someone buys one of their cars and then uses it to deliberately run someone down? Police assert culpability of the business owners through prior knowledge the equipment being sold was to be used for cultivating cannabis. However, as media commentator Russell Brown so aptly put it on his PublicAddress blog: I hope we find out why the police chose to change tack and stage such a major investigation – two years under cover, we’re told – and crackdown on S.O.G. and other retailers who certainly had reason to believe they had permission to trade, if only through years of precedent. Everyone knew what the SOG logo stood for; it was patently obvious to everyone who ever saw an SOG ad on TV or heard one of their radio spots that home cannabis growers would be the most likely customers there. But if the owner of SOG has been implicated, why hasn’t TVNZ also been charged?

Why Operation Lime is Wrong: Police Crackdowns Result in More Crime Thirty five years of prohibition under the Misuse of Drugs Act has played a prime role in the development of what has since become a large, sophisticated and lucrative black market controlled by gangs. The black market is simply far too entrenched and resilient to be knocked back by raids on some gardening supply shops; besides, the small sizes of the grows uncovered, plus the small number of weapons and other drugs found in the nationwide bust suggest that these operations were unlikely to be gang-affiliated. In the opinion of NORML, those hardest hit – besides the staff of Switched on Gardener, et al, their spouses and their children – have been the average Kiwi smoker with a small wardrobe garden going because he or she prefers not to be involved in a black market associated with potentially dangerous people. A lot of these ‘grow your own at home’ types are medical cannabis users – some of the most vulnerable members of society who are intent on making their lives safer by staying away from ‘tinny shops’. The Law Commission calls such level of involvement in cannabis growing ‘social supply’ and draws a distinction between this and commercial or large-scale supply. That’s significant because in its paper ‘Regulating and Controlling Drugs’, the Commission recommends ending the criminalisation of people who grow for themselves and a few friends. Evidence now suggests that police crackdowns aimed at continues over page www.NORML.org.nz

It ain’t fair. M

any of the products seized by police and used as evidence against Switched On Gardener and other indoor gardening stores are easily available at other shops who have not been accused. Whitcoull’s, for instance, sells High Times in its stores and cannabis grow books on its website. Palmers and Mitre 10

sell dirt and nutrients. Placemakers sells chicken wire and Cory’s sells Son-T grow lamps. It seems unfair and inconsistent for police to pick on certain indoor gardening stores - was it simply because they dared to advertise on TV?

Have NZ Police declared war on pot smokers?

I

t’s been a tough year for the NZ Police force: in two unrelated incidents officers have been fired upon, wounded and killed in situations involving illicit cannabis cultivation. The latest shooting – in g u n g - h o a t t i t u d e b y Christchurch – prompted Police. In the United States, calls for all frontline officers to be armed while on- warrantless searches by duty. Police Minister Judith armed police regularly end Collins has supported the in the suspect’s fatality, often times when no drugs suggestion. P o l i c e A s s o c i a t i o n are actually found. And President Greg O’Connor more cops are shot by their gone so far as publicly own weapon – taken from advising Kiwis to ‘toughen them – than an assailant’s. T h e a c t o f g row i n g up’ and ‘stop being s q u e a m i s h’ o v e r t h e cannabis is in itself not a thought of more people violent crime, but arming being shot – something oneself with a gun and he predicts will certainly then using it to protect an happen should Police be illegal and highly valuable crop is. armed in this manner. The answer is, of course, Cannabis smokers – especially those who ending the criminalisation choose to grow their own of drugs. Regulating the sale to avoid the risks and rip- of cannabis will eliminate offs of dealing with the the black market and make black market – have good our communities safer for reason to be worried by everyone - including our this pointedly offensive police. Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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Return of the

Drug War Special Report

Homegrown Shiva Shanti by Dr Feelgood

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

through drug-law enforcement has the perverse effect of creating more financial opportunities for organised crime groups. Despite an ever-expanding budget, Police have failed to stop the availability and use of illegal drugs in New Zealand. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that our elected leaders learn to accept the folly of this path and introduce a policy of controlled legalisation instead. Why we continue allowing organised criminal gangs to decide where, when, to whom and at what price illegal drugs get sold in New Zealand is a question worthy of deep consideration. Wouldn’t it be wiser to legalise and regulate all drugs by introducing a sliding scale of controls, ranging from membership of Dutch coffee-shop style premises for the sale of cannabis to licensed pharmacies selling stronger drugs on prescription? It appears we have a government in denial of the negative impact of a prohibition-based drugs culture. What other local industry worth many millions (if not billions) of dollars each year is left in the hands of organised criminals rather than being taxed and properly controlled?

stopping trade in illegal drugs actually have the opposite effect to that intended. A World Health Organization study established that countries with get-tough policies, notably the U.S. and New Zealand, now lead the rest of the world in rates of cannabis use. This year, an international review by the Canada-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) of 20 years research into drug enforcement found that the imprisonment of dealers and criminal bosses actually leads to greater drug-related violence. Vacuums in the black market are rapidly filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated territory. The ICSDP meta-analysis of 15 separate reports on the More info at: norml.org.nz/article709.html; relationship between violence and drug enforcement found tinyurl.com/28v7net; tinyurl.com/26f7ebr; that 87 per cent of studies reported that police seizures and tinyurl.com/25l2nd8; www.icsdp.org; arrests led directly to increased violence. The policy of prohibition rests on the assumption that lawenforcement efforts to reduce the availability of drugs – by increasing prices and decreasing supplies – also have the effect of he Law Commission’s final report on New Zealand now leads the world in rates reducing violence. drugs is expected later this year and of teenage cannabis use; we continue to But this is a myth. Not only will almost certainly recommend replacing lead the world in rates of cannabis arrests, has prohibition been found to be criminal sanctions for small offences like and come second only to the U.S. in overall ineffective with regard to supply; drug use and possession for personal or rates of cannabis use. the ICSDP study shows how social supply with civil penalties instead. Cannabis criminalisation needs to be significant a role it plays in the What the Government urgently needs replaced immediately with a policy that causation of violence. to accept is the fact that current approach is practical and supported by overseas As for price, prohibition simply isn’t working to achieve its desired experience. drives up the street value of Holland, for example, has allowed the aims. drugs astronomically, creating The Misuse of Drugs Act came about adults-only sale of cannabis for over three lucrative markets and allowing as the result of a five year long enquiry decades now and has the lowest rate of New Zealand gangs to become which recommended continuance of drug teenage cannabis use in Europe. stronger, more organised and able prohibition – and here is the key point – “so As Einstein famously said “The definition to expand into both the production long as it can be shown to be effective” in of insanity is doing the same thing over and distribution of P. reducing the use of illegal drugs. and over again and expecting a different Evidence now suggests that Thirty five years later and it’s apparent result.” any disruption of drug markets how much of a failure this has become:

Law Commission’s Report on Drug Regulation T

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An open letter received from Anonymous

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Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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A MODERN PARABLE

Hong Kee & t he Story Time with The Jawa

N

Herby Folk

ow for the tale of the tyrant Prime Menacer Hong Kee, who defeated Helen Cloudymind of Old Laborious and swept the Blue Nasties to power. All ye Herby Folk take heed! For Pry Mincer Hong Kee is at large and in charge and he is no friend of the Holy Herb. But even as we speak the Dreaded Herby Warriors beat the drums of civil unrest in the hills and valleys of the Land of the Long Aromatic Cloud. And the Herby Scribes and Bards go tippetty tappetty on their keyboards throughout the nation, smoking up a storm and cooking up some inspiration.

For always there has been Herby Folk And there always will be, Not so those Blue Nasties And their shiny-smiley Hong Key! We have heard how the traitors Peter “The Worm” Dung of the United Fugwits and Cranky Jimbo of the Regressives clouded the mind of Prim Insider Helen Clemency and turned her against Dread Nandor, so ending the Green Talks. Then the Herby Folk fled to the hills and left Helen to the administrations of her grabby new bedfellows. Then there came to lead the Blue Nasties a high rolling market gambler, none other than Hong Kee. With him was a clan of brainwashing warlocks called the Mains-Dream Media Mindmurks, who enchanted Hong with Ironic Popularity: so Hong shone with a blingy cleanness that could not be smirched, and Middley Folk exclaimed that he was sweet and bright, even ‘though all the money of the World had recently been stolen – then lost – by market gamblers just like Hong. Without the rootsy wisdom of the Herby Folk to nourish it, Helen Clunk’s Give-A-Nancy crumbled from within. Then, with the Medias’ muck-magic at their diposal, the Blue Nasties defeated Old Laborious at the Battle-Lection ’08. So alas, Hong Kee became Prime Menacer of the Land Aromatic. The Blue Nasties immediately began to crank up the Waw on Herbs. The Menacers of Parley-Mince are the ones who make the Waws, by passing Acts of Wretched-Slaytion, with funny names like, “You Can’t Have Your Herbs Anymore ‘Coz We Fear Things that Threaten the Pocksy Conceits of Our Tiny World View Act 1975” for example. So they set to work on new instruments of Nasty Waw to use against the Wholesome Herbies. They were delighted to discover that much of the blueprints had already been prepared by the Old Labamoron Menacer of Just-Shit Mr Pill Scoff, who had apparrently been nursing secret Blue Nasty fetishes. (Worse, he became leader of the Labia Party after Helen Clocked-It! fled to a Really Sweet Job, but that’s another story.)

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Thanking Mr Scoff for his contribution, the Blue Nasties churned out new Nasty Waws with zeal.

For always they feared the Holy Herb That weapon of mass construction, A power their forces cannot control The Dreaded One-Love Disruption! But then came the Waw Commission smarties, whose job it is to help think up better Waws. Luckily, they listened to the Herby Folk’s plea for mercy. They called for a Discussion with the Gover-Nasty about Why Bullying And Oppressing Your Own People And Calling It A Health Policy Is Kind Of Mediaeval. So Menacer of Parley-Mince TieMan Powers cranked out a Total Nasty Dis on the Waw Commiseration’s Discussion. He said “Never shall the Herby Folk be free, as long as it is up to me!” The Waw Commiserators returned to their towers to gather their Words. Many Waw-Reformers rallied to the aid of the Commiserators and a mighty arsenal of Herby Wisdom Words was put at their disposal. Dimly sensing the turning tide, the forces of Gover-Nastyness unleashed their Weapons of Waw. Gardening shops they have invaded; while Herby Words they have sought to snot out. Even the beloved Herby-Wordy Mage-a’Zine, Nuggy “The Norm” Nuze, was siezed by Blue Enforcers; and the SecretLeary of Infernal Affairs sent him to the Sensless Orifice for www.NORML.org.nz


Crapification! (But he escaped mostly unsoiled.) Even as we speak, a new Nasty Waw, crafted to snatch away all the Herby Folk’s herby Medicine Tools, is in the making. Now the new Menacer of Just-Shit, Mistress Coffins, has even promised the Blue Waw Enforcers they will all get Deadly Bang-Bangers in their stockings this Christmas – to be brandished at any whiff of Holy Smoke. Which likely means that some Herby Folk are going to get ActuallyKilled-Dead by Waw Enforcers. Yet even as this grim storm gathers, the power of Herby Wisdom is budding out everywhere. World-wide, Wholesome Herbies prepare to rise up like a fast forest, like a thousand million green lightning bolts shooting skywards, and overgrow all that is Blue and Nasty with fragrant Herby goodness. See how Nuggy Nuze and the Herby Waw-Reformers are raising their Herby-Word Magic! The Waw Commiserators are preparing their smarty Wap-out on the Nasty-State Waws. Wholesome Herby Words sprout from the Seeds of Wisdom, to give forth crystally Freedom Flowers which will blaze into Peace Smoke for the Land Aromatic. Arise my Herbies for the Day of the Herby Folk is high nigh! Sharpen your pens and your wits, stoke your bongs and stir your spirits.

For always there has been Herby Folk And there always will be, Not so those Blue Nasties And their shiny-smiling Hong Key! Grey Lynn Lightening & Honey Thunder: crosses of Te Puke Thunder and Hash Plant, grown organically outdoors by ‘Jawaseeds’. Photos by So Lala

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Travel

Words and photos by Chris Fowlie

Spannabis

hemp expo

W

ith its warm, sunny climate and relaxed laws, Spain produces some of the world’s best weed and is now the biggest market for legal cannabis seed sales. The world’s largest cannabis and hemp trade fair, known as Spannabis, is held in Barcelona every February.

Say Yerba and Maria in Spain Officially cannabis is still illegal, however it is widely tolerated and cannabis seeds are legal, so any store can sell them. There is a grow store in almost every town - even small villages. While cannabis is very socially acceptable, like in Portugal a person can still be “denounced” to the police for drug use and police are supposed to investigate. Local provinces have taken different approaches to this, with most ranking it among the lowest of police priorities. Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, allows medicinal users to grow their own or form private clubs to supply each other. The UK cannabis extract Sativex is also available in Spanish pharmacies.

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Spannabis features over 200 stalls and exhibitors of everything to do with cannabis, including hemp products, the latest hydro systems and grow gear, nutrients, marijuana magazines and law reform organisations, a huge number of seed companies, as well as bong merchants, grinder developers and more marijuana-related stuff than you could shake a spliff at. Spannabis is a great place to check out the latest developments, compare heaps of seed strains all in one place with the low down from the company owners and breeders, meet fellow potheads from throughout the world, and generally enjoy the laid back Spanish pot scene. It truly is an extravaganja! I had arrived after a marathon series of flights and trains via Dubai and Paris. The expo hall was located in the depths of an industrial zone on the outskirts of the city and finding it was quite a mission. Eventually, the freaks began to outnumber the straights and I knew it must be near. A long line twisted out the front door for all of the three days the expo ran - organisers estimated the head count at 18,000 people. The interior had already filled with a sweet marijuana haze, and it was only for the first few hours that a lone security guard kept up the pretence of telling people to stub out their fat euro-style spliffs. Over at the T.H.Seeds booth Adam had samples of Dark Star, the newest addition to their range. It’s a full indica that tested at 23 per cent THC at the last Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. It was so strong, he said it sedated the judges too much to vote for it. This required verification of course! Doug from HempHoodLamb showed off their new artic-canno range of jackets and said they had supplied Paul Watson of the Sea Shepard a custom bullet-proof version to help in their fight against the Japanese whaling in the Southern ocean. Horticultural lighting company Lumatek ran a super-sweet VIP booth, up high over the crowds. It was a great place to chill out, share a laugh and uh, “network” with booth holders. www.NORML.org.nz


Cannabis culture

Doug from HempHoodLamb cannabiscafe.net

Spannabis 2010 Awards BEST SEEDS– PYRAMID SEEDS BEST STAND – LUMATEK GOLD LABEL BEST PARAPHERNALIA PRODUCT – 00BOX BEST HYDROPONIC PRODUCT– GENERAL HYDROPONICS BEST GROW PRODUCT – HUMBOLDT NUTRIENTS, LÍNEA ORGÁNIC The guys at Humboldt Nutrients had a great range of specialisd products, while Dutch nutrient co Canna didn’t have anything for sale - their massive booth was actually a free bar as well as a THC testing service. Unlike the pee-in-a-cup kind we get here, they tested people’s favourite herb samples for THC and terpene content with a mobile GCMS machine and laboratory, the idea being to build up a database of cannabis strains to assist their development of even better products. The grow scene was heavily represented, with a massive variety of nutrients, grow tents, digital ballasts, infra-red proof wall linings, blade-less fans, as well as dozens of local cannabis seed companies. “Curro Knnabinoide” of the popular Spanish cannabis forum cannabiscafe.net told me that over the past twenty years there had been a big change to local home grown over imported Maroccan hash. Most Spanish smokers abide by a “homegrown” ethos meaning they grow their own and they neither buy nor sell it. I had noticed that this

means there is plenty of excellent herb to share but comparatively little for sale, and for tourists (like me) scoring is surprisingly difficult. Still, that was not necessary when there were so many kind herby folk about, only too willing to show off their latest homegrown effort, or a seed company promoter trying to tempt you with their latest strain...

Marc from Cosmic Corner was there too Canna’s THC testing lab

Growing in Spain Spaniards have the luxury of being able to grow outdoors all year round. The feminised and autoflowering strains that have revolutionised growing around the world have had an even bigger impact on Spain, where seeds are legal. Spanish growers can just pop a feminised auto-flowering seed in the ground any time of the year, and come back in a certain number of days. The most popular local strain is Critical from Dinafem while Eva, Pyramid and Sweet Seeds are also huge. The relaxed legal environment means growing at home is really easy and safe for anyone to do, and it is not unusual to see healthy plants on people’s balconies. Hola! Canna-Relax hemp memory-foam pillows Cannabis liqueur anyone?

Czech the hemp www.NORML.org.nz

Adam from T.H,Seeds

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Interview

Serious Simon’s

Serious

O Seeds X X X

Simon from Serious Seeds is renowned as a gentleman among seedpushing scoundrels, and a breeder of champions. His small but powerful stable of classics - Ak47, Kali Mist, The Chronic, Bubblegum, White Russian - has finally been joined by Serious6, a citronella-tasting sativa with an unusually short 8-week flowering time. Chris Fowlie discussed these and other important matters with Simon at his farmhouse north of Amsterdam.

Simon, tell us about AK47. It’s very popular in New Zealand and won the indoor cannabis cup. That’s great. It’s really an honour. I’ve lost count - so many local or national top 10’s - I put in the catalogue it won ten awards but it’s won far more than that. I started with a group of plants that were already good. I just collected the strongest plants around because I wanted to create the strongest smoke possible, at that time, and it still is one of the best. Definite plants were selected for that reason. You can’t really clearly say it’s from this or that origin but you could say it is about 3/4 sativa and 1/4 indica. The main ingredients came from tropical areas like Columbia, from South Asia, and some African. So from three different tropical varieties, and Afghani influences, and they were cross bred for so many generations that it makes it hard to pinpoint genetics. What is it about AK that makes it such a champion of champions?

Photos by Chris Fowlie AK47, shown here indoor and outdoor, has won many prizes including here in New Zealand

It’s very powerful, it’s very tasty and it’s very easy to grow. When you boil it down that’s what it is. Anyone can grow it, indoor or outdoor. The taste is so nice. The effect is so nice. It’s a combination of sativa high, which is the first thing to hit, and at the end you also feel the indica influences. It’s a very nice high, very strong. Now there is more stronger weed but when AK first came out it was really overpowering all the rest. I remember when GW Pharmaceuticals investigated, they tested I think 250 or 260 different strains from all the critical seed companies, and AK was stronger than all the rest for THC content. The big trend is feminised seeds - what is your position on that? The scientific foundation for feminised seeds is good. You are definitely able to make feminised seeds if you do the work properly. There are companies that do not do the work, they give out feminised seeds that are bad and you get males, hermaphrodites and so on. Is there a risk with letting amateur pot growers breed with feminised seeds? No, you’re not making a genetic oddity, you’re just using a female plant to make pollen. The genetic information of that female plant is crossed over. It doesn’t matter if it came from a male or a female. The plant is still a good plant. You’re not wreaking the genes or whatever, that’s all bullshit. It’s the same as the fear that’s going on with biotechnology. There’s a tremendous fear amongst the people because they don’t have a clue what’s going on. We’re using the old techniques that are used to [breed] pidgins, dogs and all the rest. I don’t see Frankenstein scenarios from that.

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Cannabis culture

What challenges do you face?

Some of Simon’s breeding programme to create an outdoor strain suited for Holland. Despite the looks they smoked better than most cup entries. What sets you apart from the rest? As you know there are only five varieties in my catalogue. I limit myself to only bringing out the very best, things I would be happy about. We put much more effort into testing things, really making sure they are fine tuned, before we put them out. I know there are seed companies who don’t even test, they just cross the things and put it out. There are a few good seed companies and an enormous amount of crap. The people are in there just to make a buck. They put out almost anything. We have a daily fight almost to stop people using our names. The name AK47 is used a lot. People just sell the name AK47 because it’s well known. If you go into a coffeeshop AK47 is on the menu but often it’s not the real thing. They don’t care, “we’ll just name this AK47” but it’s all PowerPlant. [So who sells the real thing? De Damkring, Greenhouse, Bluebird, “the reputable ones who have a name to uphold.”] The reason why we only had 5 is we are constantly growing to make new things, and I’m still not fully satisfied. Despite all the criticism I get from people, I’m not interested in that. I started this as a hobby basically for www.NORML.org.nz

myself and then people asked me, can I sell some of your seeds, and that’s how we started. I started to do this for fun, for myself, because I enjoy smoking good stuff myself. And I still do it for that reason, not for any other. To win the Cannabis Cup you need the new strain. There’s a lot of bullshit going on. To win prizes there they give it the new name but it’s actually, you know, Love Potion No 5 from three years ago and they just give it a new name or whatever. This is going on all the time. Do you really thing there are hundreds of different categories - of course not. They think the market is asking for new names all the time. But you see that with alcohol, beer is still popular, Bacardi rum or whatever, those really good things which people like, they are there for a long time. You have new things, but the really good things that prove themselves and I think the AK, the Chronic, the Bubblegum, the Kali Mist, they really are good outstanding things, they are classical, they are so good they appeal still to people. I want to bring out something that is really good and also good for years to come. Not just a new name.

It is still illegal. It used to be legal so make seeds. When I made the basis of the plants we have now, it was when seed breeding was legal so I had a big facility. The amount of space you have to grow out test seeds defines how successful you are and how quickly you move forward. Because if you make 10 crosses and from every cross you want to test 25 seeds of ten plants, then you have to grow out 2500 seeds to see the results. That’s what limits you. If it’s a legal thing you can grow out many plants. But space is limited because you have to do it illegally, you have to do it indoor, small scale. It changed about 4 to 5 years ago. Growing seeds is just as illegal as growing weed. That law made it more difficult for us to do our job properly - lots of running around and so on. From one cross I grow out 20 or 25 plants then I kill the males and leave the females. I categorise everything, I take photos of the process and put it all on the computer, because two years later I want to be able to go back and see what the crosses are. I write out a test report, things like smell. If there’s a lot of variation it means the parents are not right. If they all look the same, good smell, we have good parents that give a very uniform result, we like the effects, then we move forward. What’s next for you and for the seed industry? There’s only a few real seed companies who do the real thing. Many just parasite on the work done by others. That’s why you have so many. There’s always room to make innovations. There’s no end to new things. We’re only limited by size which means it takes longer to come up with something new. We’re not even looking for stronger plants anymore, we’re looking more for interesting smell, scents, for plants that are almost leafless for instance. Thanks Simon! Find out more at www.seriousseeds.com Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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travel

Mountain

high

A journey into morocco’s high mountain cannabis culture

M

orocco is not only a land of delicious food and mouthwatering coffee, it is also the world’s largest producer of cannabis, with an estimated 134,000 hectares under cultivation. Words and photos by Chris Fowlie

T

he highlands around the Rif Mountains, which face the Mediteranian Sea in the north of the country, account for more than forty per cent of global hashish production. Largely driven by the close proximity to the millions of cannabis consumers in Europe, hash is now Morocco’s biggest source of foreign currency. At least 800,000 people are directly employed in the industry, contributing at least ¤2 billion to the local economy. Cannabis was first recorded in Ketema - now ground zero for dodgy hash smugglers and the occassional tourist disappearance - in the 15th Century. Today, most is smuggled to Spain and on to Europe by high speed motor boat departing from the northern ports of Martel, Oued Laous, Boh Ahmed, Nador, Tetoaun and Tanger. A lot also goes inside trucks and cars on ferries. In fact the smugglers have become so proficient and have opened up enough routes with their bribes and corruption they have caught they eye of the Columbian cartels. Coke is now being traffiked into Europe via established hash smuggling channels - another example of prohibition encouraging the spread of hard drugs.

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The law in Morocco Morocco is a hash and caffeine culture. Those two drugs are commonplace, whereas alcohol is against the law. Today cannabis is also officially prohibited and strictly punished but this has only been the case since Morocco gained independence from Spain in 1956, and shortly after the King granted the Rif Mountain areas permission to cultivate cannabis. This exemption has never been rescinded, and for the locals at least, hash can be consumed fairly openly. Tourists are another story, being an easy source of bribes for the underpaid cops. I was told the police have no right to search people, but the general advice was to keep a low profile and restrict any smoking to the hotel.

Meanwhile, Back on the farm Having said that, we were not here to sit around the hotel. Chefchaoun is known as the gateway to the Rif Mountains and the start of cannabis country. It’s also bloody cold and rains a lot. After noticing a familiar smell and click of the lighter, I gingerly approached the hotel boy and asked very

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Cannabis culture

politely and nonchalantly whether he might possibly know anywhere... oh yes of course, he smiled, and was back in a flash with some very nice unpressed hash powder. Upon further testing it was determined to be of top quality so a question was put about perhaps paying a visit to the grower. Of course, he said, we do the package trip! For the very reasonable fee of about NZ$150 we were picked up early the next morning by Grande Taxi and driven high up into the mountains near Bab Taza, where we were entertained with stories, fed delicious home cooked Moroccan food, shown how they make hash with a very informative and instructional workshop, taken on a tour around the fields, given some to try, and after a long and very enjoyable day were taken back home again for a well earned rest. Our host Mustapha is a taxi driver during the off season but during the farming months his entire family is kept busy tending cannabis terraces that stretch high into the surrounding hillsides. Everyone around here does it, he says, and the local cops are paid enough to look away. At several points along the winding roads to and from his isolated farm house we were beckoned and whistled at by young men on the road side, eager to “do business�.

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CANNABIS CULTURE IN MOROCCO Morocco is a Muslim country, where alcohol is forbidden but cannabis is widely tolerated. There are many Sufis in Morocco and cannabis use among them is commonplace. Most Moroccans use cannabis kif or hashish pollen in a sebsi pipe (above, and below right, for sale in a medina in Fez). The hash pollen is collected from semi-wild, seeded cannabis flowers, grown on a massive scale for an export market that now helps sustain the Moroccan economy. Nakhla or hookah pipes are common, even three headed beasts like that shown below, but they are only used for tobacco.

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travel Mustapha explained the local cannabis culture to me. Moroccans smoke their ganja with tobacco. They put what they call Kif in a Sebsi, a long pipe made from several sections of wood with a small clay bowl, and they put hash into cigarettes. Hash comes as loose unpressed powder, while Kif (or “grass”) is what is left over from hash production. It has been beaten and crushed and is very low quality, however can still be used as a mixer with the hash powder. It is not unusual to see Moroccan men in traditional jeleba outfits in cafes smoking their sebsi pipes, often within view of nearby policemen. In the medinas of Chefchaoun and Fez the touts were relentless. “Pssst... get high before you die?” (must have assumed I was straight) “I have something to blow your mind... and no one will know!” (was he going to secretly kill me?) All I wanted was to satiate my intense munchies, and what’s great about Morocco is they eat these mouth-watering giant crumpets as big as dinner plates, and you can always get a delicious coffee to go with your top quality hashish.

Moroccan grass, hash powder and sebsi pipe

Stalks from last season’s cr op

Arriving and getting around · Getting around by bus or train is easy. Grande Taxis (old beat up Mercedes) can be hired for trips between towns while petite taxies are used within towns. Getting lost in the Medinas is part of the adventure. · Touts will be waiting anywhere there are tourists. They are not dangerous, just annoying and relentless. Don’t talk to them. Scoring from them would be risky and more expensive. · Ask a taxi driver, but don’t be timid - tell them exactly what you want and don’t take any bullshit. Always remember when getting in a taxi to negotiate the fare before it sets off! · The safest way for a traveller to make a good connection is to ask discreetly at the hotel. Often the belhop will be pleased to make some extra money. Plus, tourists are recorded with the police as being their guest so the hotel has an interest in tourists remaining safe and happy. If caught, offer to “pay the fine now”. · When shopping, whether for hash or slippers, haggling is a national sport. Get into it, but be warned: attempts to cheat are also commonplace (eg fake souvineers, fake hash).

Handy words to know · Any French or Spanish! · Hello/Goodbye = Salam/Besalam · Thanks/No thanks = shoukran/la shoukran · Baraka! = Stop! · Pollen = dry sift hash powder · Hadala = the best hash (should cost about NZ$5-7/gram) · Grass = crap but makes a better mix than tobacco · Sebsi = traditional Moroccan smoking pipe.

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NORML NeWS NeWS Winer/Spring Winer/Spring 2010 2010

www.NORML.org.nz


Cannabis culture

EYE-WITNESS REPORTS:

TRADITIONAL HASHMAKING IN MOROCCO 2

1

3

4 WASHING TUB DRY-SIFT METHOD

M

5 www.NORML.org.nz

oroccan hash farmers have always used the dry-sift method, these days performed with muslin cloth stretched over an everyday plastic wash tub. 1 The first step is to stop and have a delicious meal (top right). This is Morocco, after all. 2. Muslin cloth is stretched over a large wash tub. Knots are tied along the side and underneath to tighthen the fabric. 3. Plant material is placed on top, then covered with plastic which is secured by bungee cord. 4. Then they beat the shit out of it, for about an hour. 5. The plastic, herb and cloth are removed, and surprisingly-pure pollen is collected from the wash tub. WARNING: making hashish is illegal in New Zealand, obviously! Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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HARM REDUCTION corner

PLANT

PROBLEMS

A new column showing pests & deficiencies

Safer

CANNABIS USE

Most cannabis consumers use it responsibly and suffer no harm, however it does have risks and some people have problems. This guide is intended to help you make an informed choice so you can stay safe.

T

hrips

are not a huge marijuana pest but can become one indoors or in greenhouses. They are tiny (about 1.5mm), do not fly well and jump when startled. They scrape the leaves to expose sap, leaving it scarred with silvery patches. Eventually the leaf loses chlorophyll and dies.

M

agnesium deficiency

starts in the lower leaves then moves to the midle and upper half. Veins remain green while the rest of the leaf turns yellow with clorosis. Leaves eventually curl up and die. The edges of affected leaves will feel dry and

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If the thrips are not controlled the plant will die. They are drawn to yellow so sticky traps can be used to detect an infestation. Control is with a soil barrier (cloth, perlite, sand etc), pyrethrum, cloves, garlic, neem oil, predatory mites or beneficial nematodes. Ask at your local indoor grow store.

crispy. Eventually new shoots change from a pale green to white colour, while the stems and petioles turn purple. Fix with water-soluble nutrients containing Magnesium, like Epson salts or dolomite lime and worm castings.

NORML NeWS Winer/Spring 2010

Harm reduction

Health ADVICE

> The main thing is to ensure that your cannabis use does not impair your health, family, employment and education. It’s also good to have regular periods of reducing use or not consuming cannabis. > Remember that “Less is More” the less you use, the less you will need - and the more high you will get! > Heavy long term cannabis use may lead to some respiratory damage. Deep tokes and long breath duration are more harmful to the lungs. Take it easy! > Water pipes and bongs help cool the smoke, filter solids, and absorb the most harmful tars in the water. Bongs can make the smoke very smooth, so avoid inhaling too deeply. Replace bong water each time and regularly sterilise your pipe or bong (eg using meths, alcohol or denture cleaning tablets). > If you’re into spotting, try using a lower temperature. Red hot is too hot! Cooler knives will give you a much better taste and smoother hit with no coughing. > Try other ways of ingesting cannabis, such as eating or drinking it, or using a vaporiser to heat the herb and release THC without combustion. > When eating cannabis preparations, start with a small piece and wait an hour before increasing the amount, if desired. The effects of edible cannabis products may be stronger than smoked cannabis. > NORML recommends consuming organic cannabis whenever possible.

> Cannabis is best avoided by pregnant and breast-feeding women. > Meningitis and other diseases can be transmitted through saliva, so don’t share spit on joints or pipes. > People with a history of severe mental illness should reduce any cannabis use to a level agreed with their clinician, or avoid cannabis altogether. > People on digitalis or other heart medications should consult their doctors before using cannabis. > Never consume cannabis that appears artificially coloured, as it may have been sprayed with a blue toxic poison by the Police. If cannabis has a chemical taste or weird ash it may contain residue of fertilisers or pesticides. > Do not use any cannabis that appears contaminated or has mould or fungus on it as it could be very harmful if inhaled. > Be cautious about mixing drugs, as the effect of combining substances is more unpredictable and can increase health risks. Especially use caution when mixing cannabis with depressants such as alcohol as it can make you more out of it than you intended. > Mixing pot with tobacco will cause more smoke damage to your lungs, and may make you nicotine dependent. > Smoking cannabis as a way of dealing with unpleasant feelings or emotions can sometimes intensify these feelings, or stop you sorting out the problem. If you experience anxiety or paranoia cannabis may make it worse. Avoid using cannabis to deal with bad acid trips, as it could intensify the experience. > Being arrested is also harmful, so make sure you stay safe and know your rights.

www.NORML.org.nz


www.NORML.org.nz

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

45


Return of the

Drug War Special Report

Govt plans erode common law rights By Julian Crawford

J

ohn Key’s government has introduced a number of changes that amount to a systematic and premeditated attack on the justice system and the long-held rights of New Zealand citizens. National are seeking to remove the Claim of Right defence following its successful use by the Waihopi Spy-dome activists. The Claim of Right is “a belief that the act is lawful, although that belief may be based on ignorance or mistake of fact or of any matter of law other than the enactment against which the offence is alleged to have been committed.” Cannabis users could possibly use the Claim of Right if they believe their acts to be lawful. Majority jury decisions have also been introduced, meaning that juries no longer have to reach unanimous verdicts. According to the government, “majority verdicts are needed to deal with rogue jurors.“ Chief High Court judge, Justice Tony Randerson, “pleaded for the bill to go through so other changes relating to methamphetamine cases could proceed and relieve pressure on the High Court.” The bill actually denies methamphetamine users the right to a jury. Will cannabis users be next? A larmingly the government also attempted to remove the right for defendants to be present at their own trial. Only a last minute amendment gave defendants the choice to attend. “It is only fair that everyone who is accused of a crime has a right to be present when they are tried in court. It is a fundamental tenet of common law and natural justice,” said MP Kennedy Graham. “This bill would have stripped New Zealand citizens of a basic constitutional right and would have been uniquely shameful legislation.” Depositions hearings, where Justices of the Peace assess the evidence prior to trial, have also been abolished. The intention was to streamline the court process and reduce pressure on victims who were previously forced to read their evidence twice. However it has actually resulted in more jury trials and an increased burden on the system. The defence of provocation has also been abolished in murder cases after its attempted use by Clayton Wheatherston. New Zealand is now the only Western country to go without this ‘partial defence’. There is now no legal protection

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NORML NeWS Winer/Spring 2010

www.BushLawyer.co.nz for people accused of murder that may have been acting out of self defence. The new legislation states that “provocation was an existing common law partial defence. For the avoidance of doubt the common law partial defence will be abolished by the bill.”

C

ommon law r e fe r s to l aw s established by legal precedent rather than by Acts of Parliament, which are referred to as Statute law. Common law is the fundamental principle of law in many countries including England and former colonies of the British Empire such as New Zealand and the USA. It dates back to before the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and allows the judiciary to provide an important check and balance on the actions of parliament and the government. It ensures the right to be tried by one’s own peers. It gives juries the ability to acquit defendants even if they have broken the law. Defendants who use sufficient reasoning may cause a judge to alter common law, with a new precedent. By legislating to abolish common law rights, parliament is seeking absolute control of the law. All of these reforms erode your rights and undermine the standard of justice available in New Zealand courts. They are designed to make it harder for the accused to challenge their charges. National predict that the Ministry of Justice (including Corrections) will soon

become one of the biggest and most expensive sectors of government. And that doesn’t even count the introduction of privately run prisons. When asked why New Zealand has such a high prison population, Police Minister Judith Collins said because “half of them are Maori.” Norml News has previously reported that Maori are more likely to be arrested for cannabis, due to racist implementation of the law. Cannabis offenders already make up a sizeable chunk of the prison population, and cannabis arrests have increased dramatically over the past four years.

T

he ongoing targeting of cannabis users is why BushLawyer.co.nz is so important. Defendants become empowered by sharing court stories and formulating the best defence strategies. I n formed ca n nabis activ ists who challenge their charges are much less likely to be prosecuted than uninformed stoners who readily accept guilt for breaking an unjust law. Bush Lawyer also helps defendants work through every stage of the court process. By demystifying the procedure, it becomes a lot less intimidating to appear before a judge or jury. Some of Bush Lawyer’s users were busted in Operation Lime and have said that lies and entrapment were used extensively. A story about a mother dying of cancer was used a number of times, to encourage store owners to give advice about growing medicinal cannabis. Sadly entrapment by the police – where they encourage someone to commit a crime they otherwise would not have – is legal in New Zealand. If you are busted there is only one way to have police conduct scrutinised by the court. That is to plead Not Guilty. Dakta Green, founder of The Daktory, was recently discharged without penalty after a three year court battle. He is a leading example of the effectiveness of the Roaring Lion strategy. Three years in court would be an ordeal for anyone, but it beats going to jail. Make sure you use your Common Law rights while you still can. See www.bushlawyer.co.nz and www. parliament.nz has the progress of new legislation. www.NORML.org.nz


Legal information

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS E Tu! Kia Kaha!

www.NORML.org.nz

· You have the right to list of lawyers & civil rights get bail unless information there is a good reason for holding you or you have been charged with a very serious offence. Going To Court: know your options · First appearance: you can enter “no plea”, and before your next appearance ask for “full disclosure” of the evidence against you, and seek legal advice. Check with the court registrar if you can get legal aid or, see the duty solicitor. · If it is your first arrest, you may be eligible for the police diversion scheme. Ask Civil rights advice & support your lawyer or the police’s duty sergeant www.norml.org.nz/rights for more information. TXT NORML TO 343 (costs 99c) · Otherwise, you can plead Guilty and accept the punishment given to you, or Call NORML: 09 302 5255 plead Not Guilty and fight the charges. or in the South Island: 021 399 822 (Please call weekday daytime · If you plead Not Guilty you can plea only. Our priority is to norml members.) bargain at a pre-trial “status hearing”. Try to strike a deal that gets the charges Wairarapa: Peter Broad LAWYERS with dropped, or negotiate a reduced sentence. 021 3264547 or 06experience. Whangarei: · Preparing your defence: write everything 3798049 Wellington: David Sayes 09 4382154; down in as much detail as possible. Go Michael Appleby 0274 Nick Leader 09 4384039 through the police and ESR evidence and 403363; Chris Tennet 021 Auckland: Peter Winter identify any discrepancies or errors. Engage 626878 or 04 4711952; 09 3797658; Johnnie an expert. Search the internet, local law Christchurch: David Kovacevich 09 3093364 libraries and courts.govt.nz for relevant Ruth 03 3745486 Timaru: or 021 653933; Matt cases. Tony Shaw 03 6886056 Goodwin 09 3750052 Invercargill: Richard Remember to stay calm. or 0274-999433, Rob Smith 03 2144069 Be smart, don’t get smart! Weir 09 3099636; Colin Amery 09 2665910; Marie MORE INFO · Try to get all the police officer’s names, Dyhrberg 09 3604550; numbers and police stations. Try to get > Under 25? YouthLaw. Adam Couchman 09 co.nz Ph 09 3096967 someone to witness what the police do. 3733592; Charl Hirschfeld > Low income? www. · If the police breach your rights tell your 09 3076997; Maria Pecotic communitylaw.org.nz lawyer/a duty solicitor or make a police > Legal Aid: www.lsa. 09 5227399; Owen complaint later, rather than argue at the govt.nz ph 0800 600 090 Harold 09 6304969; time. > Find a lawyer: www. Rodney Harrison 09 Police Complaints lawsociety.org.nz 3034157 Hamilton: > How courts work: www. · Independent Police Conduct Authority Roger Layborne 07 courtsofnz.govt.nz 0800 503 728; Talk to YouthLaw, your 8396288 Rotorua: > Statutes: www. lawyer or NORML. Write down everything Simon Lance 07 3460796 legislation.govt.nz that happened while you remember. Get Palmerston North: > Search precedent case photos of any injuries and see a doctor. Peter Coles 06 3581075 law: www.nzlii.org

Photo: Chris

Police Questioning: you have the right to remain silent! · Yes, just like on TV you really do have the right to remain silent – and this includes not making a statement or answering questions - but if suspected of a crime you must give your correct name and address and in some cases your date of birth. · Talk to a lawyer before saying anything else. · If the Police want you to go with them, ask if you have been arrested. · You have the right to talk to your own or a free lawyer on the Bill of Rights list if you are being questioning about an offence. · If you’re under 17 you have the right to have a supportive adult of your choice with you at the police station. Searches: refuse consent! · Always ask why you are being searched. If you don’t want to be searched you must say so. Silence is consent! · The police can only search you, your bag or car if you let them; or after being arrested; or they have a search warrant; or they have reasonable grounds to think you have drugs, or an offensive weapon. · The police can search your home if: you let them; or they have a search warrant; or they have reasonable grounds to think it contains drugs. You are entitled to witness a search but not to obstruct police. · If you are female usually only a policewoman can search you. Arrests, Detainment and Charges: do not make a statement! · Always ask if you’re being arrested, detained or charged and why. · Don’t run away or resist arrest. · Ask to make a phone call and phone someone you trust. · You don’t have to answer any questions or make a statement. You have the right to talk to a free lawyer. Tell police you want to talk to one on the Bill of Rights list before talking to them.

TEXT NORML TO 343 for the latest

Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

47


Activist Corner

You can help

Legalise ! cannabis can help.

you There are heaps of ways to Here are some easy ways get started. > 10 MINUTES

Buy a copy of NORML News! Buying NORML News is an easy and effective way of sup porting our law reform efforts, because it takes a lot of money and time for us to produce. Send our sample submission to the Law Commission see page 8 Email your MP > The format is firstname.lastname@ parliament.govt.nz or see ww w.norml.org.nz/emailMP Donate online > 12-3057-0594 667-00 Join NORML > on the opposit e page. Support the Canna-Bus > don ations can be made to the Canna-Bus account: 12-305 7-0594667-03 Write a letter to the editor Join our monthly email list > email “subscribe norml-nz” to majordomo@norml.net

OR SO sion’s review of the > 1 HOUR the Law Commis

Take part in www.talklaw.co.nz Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 - see g.nz/forums and l.or orm Get informed > visit www.n ne members. onli 0 850 our h wit join the discussion r own in an you to hold Raise your voice > learn how l .htm pic8 z/to argument at www.norml.org.n gs rnin mo ay urd Visit your MP on most Sat r doctor. Medical users > talk with you your town. Find und aro s New ml Distribute Nor ds for NORML. fun e new outlets. Sell mags to rais

and legalise your backyard! Support The CannaBus

Support the tour - make a donation bank a/c: 38 9010 0242901 00

e-mail alerts Join our monthly news list email ‘subscribe norml-nz’ to

majordomo@norml.net

For the latest international cannabis news, download

NORML’s Daily Audio Stash Potcast

stash.norml.org

or listen at www.norml.org.nz

LOCAL ACTIVISM

download shows

> 1 DAY OR SO

Organise an event like a local J Day, or some street theatre or a demonstra tion, public talk, local petition, movie showing, social evening... Grow hemp > apply for a permit from MedSafe. Apply for a medical permit > get the backing of your doctor then write to the Ministe r of Health. Form a local anti-prohibition group > and get active in your area! discuss your ideas

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SHOW YOUR GROW

tty right: Ta left & P O T Dr : right r’s pix Reade Skunk #1. Below . Bottom left: arl ’s e a er P Rast high in d’s Silv Feelgoo ow from Doctor f sativa d! m k wid te le left: d white id S wan M . ury . PHOTO ews@ bob d Canterb n n to orthla tion pix ORML News, from N resolu N to igh h il Ema z or post . Chur! .org.n d norml ucklan A 7 0 3 3 x o B PO

Next issue 50

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Drug testing in the workplace, cannabis in India, interview with Strain Hunters & more... www.NORML.org.nz out November 2010!


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Winter/Spring 2010 NORML NeWS

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52

NORML NeWS Winer/Spring 2010

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Norml News Winter/Spring 2010  

Norml News is New Zealand's favourite marijuana magazine, covering hemp, medical use, cutural matters, world wide weed news, in depth featur...

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