Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

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  • jo kerr,

    Surely. But take into account that they were breaking some serious laws and profiting by that, when you consider their lives and freedoms.

    I've bought copies of High Times before , without having to register with the police or anticipate that my purchase makes me liable to search and arrest.
    Thats a level of surveillance that qualifies as a police state action in my book and the NZ police have not got a mandate for that kind of infringement on civil rights.
    I hope SOG's defense is robust and the judiciary takes their responsibility seriously, but given the whoop and hollering from the police minister, it looks like we are being rolled again.

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We'll all be watching it closely. If there's no evidence of them committing crimes in a large number of cases, it will be very concerning.

    As Steve noted above, the definition of "committing a crime" got changed last September. From the [Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009

    Meaning of unlawfully benefited from significant criminal activity

    In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, a person has unlawfully benefited from significant criminal activity if the person has knowingly, directly or indirectly, derived a benefit from significant criminal activity (whether or not that person undertook or was involved in the significant criminal activity).

    So if you sold a growlight to a grower, and you earned a wage doing it ...

    The cops have been quite open this week about the fact that the law change has made many of the charges possible. It really is looking like the police want to see if they can bust someone for working in a fucking shop.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    directly or indirectly, derived a benefit from significant criminal activity

    Co-worker points out that significant criminal activity keeps cops in a job, for a start.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    So if you sold a growlight to a grower, and you earned a wage doing it ...
    ...
    It really is looking like the police want to see if they can bust someone for working in a fucking shop.

    Lets hope the courts don't see it that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    On the subject of legal stuff becoming illegal by its use, here's an interesting twist. Baking Soda should carry a warning that using it in conjunction with cocaine can lead to a loss of liberty.
    Supplying grow lights is the other side of the coin, of course, but does that mean the cops will be turning up at the doors of these guys to tell them that it is not economically efficient to grow hydroponic lettuce? as some top cop stated on BFM this afternoon.
    It is rather ironic that, although alcohol does far more harm to society, the Government, yesterday, dismissed a Royal Commission report suggesting increasing tax on alcohol whilst congratulating the Police on their excellent work busting a gardening shop.
    'Tis an ill wind that blows no good however, the more this Government pisses people off, the sooner we will be shot of them.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Co-worker points out that significant criminal activity keeps cops in a job, for a start.

    Booya!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • jo kerr,

    So if you sold a growlight to a grower, and you earned a wage doing it ...
    The cops have been quite open this week about the fact that the law change has made many of the charges possible. It really is looking like the police want to see if they can bust someone for working in a fucking shop.

    Well that means if you sold a crowbar or a ski-mask to a burglar you would be equally liable.
    I hope the judiciary can see the principle and stop this silliness from escalating.
    It was meant for the seizure of Headhunters Harleys, not shop assitants selling potting mix to hippies.

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    It really is looking like the police want to see if they can bust someone for working in a fucking shop.

    I 've no doubt more arrests were made than necessary , but I suspect the main focus wasn't the shop assistants ...
    "More than 100 commercial cannabis growing operations linked to the businesses were found and dismantled during the operation.

    A further 19 were discovered yesterday, and police also seized methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy and firearms."

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I expect more arrests were made than necessary , but I suspect the main focus wasn't the shop assistants ...

    It is the tendency when widespread raids take place to arrest all in one swoop, and then as things become clearer drop some charges or downgrade them and focus on the 'big cheeses'. It's unfortunate but it's impossible for the police to know all the details before the arrest.

    If it's of that nature and they've arrested people who have committed a crime, and they're now sorting out where people are in relation to charges, that's OK.

    If it's arresting everyone working at the place, even the cleaner and the shop assistant who didn't do anything, that's a problem.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I wonder how many of the folks busted yesterday were growing dope in their wardrobes specifically to avoid having to deal with gangs to get their pot?.
    As usual the cops have no idea what they are dealing with. They spout all kinds of crap, such as the cost to the country of them chasing people who just want to relax after work with a joint, to justify their lame attitude of dealing only with simple, harmless crime. Rather than breaking down the doors of the obvious criminals, the gangs, they continue to harass ordinary people. What is their problem, are they scared of doing their job properly?.
    Sure, policing this ridiculous "crime" costs money, even more reason to legalise the weed.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    "More than 100 commercial cannabis growing operations linked to the businesses were found and dismantled during the operation.

    A further 19 were discovered yesterday, and police also seized methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy and firearms."

    I may be reading too much into the coverage but it seems like this stuff about "meth, acid, E and guns" has been rather too casually or vaguely lobbed into the stories, making it seem as if these extra bits and pieces related to the retailers themselves, rather than to various grow-ops whose cultivators might have purchased something from one of the retailers.

    Several people I've discussed this with actually thought that these other items were found in quantity on SOG premises.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    This may give some idea of the minds at work here:

    Detective Inspector Stu Alsopp-Smith, of the Auckland metro crime operations service, said stores could remain open as police would not "impact on a legitimate business".

    But under bail conditions, anyone purchasing from those stores had to produce identification and strict recording procedures had to be followed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    In the profiting-from-cannabis context, now it's suddenly a worry when the police take an interest in pizza delivery.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    The current National government are running the country the way the kings of old used to do it; greedy for money and dont give a shit who they step on to get it. These recent developments just sadden me further.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Co-worker points out that significant criminal activity keeps cops in a job, for a start.

    Parable of the Broken Window, anybody? And funnily enough, we're installing CCTVs in our cities instead of sending our boys in blue on the beat.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I've bought copies of High Times before..

    Um, it's a free publication isn't it?

    But I can sell you a subscription to Google if you like? $20 a year?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I wonder what was happening two years ago that prompted the start of the undercover work? (This is not a rhetorical question).

    Two years ago, or more would be about
    when that big growing operation run by
    the Fashion knitwear designer
    - whose label name eludes me -
    was uncovered - wouldn't surprise me if
    that hadn't triggered off a deeper look at the
    wider service and supply side...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    - whose label name eludes me -

    Called Insidious Fix. Bit like the Misuse of Drugs Act.
    I reckon, we may hear in the Budget, of the success, thus need for more money into crime prevention. CCTV on every street?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    DeepRed
    I'm in favour of a broken windows law. Not a euphamism but a law that states that land lords of poor housing and businesses will be prosecuted if they don't act.

    Tennants Rights might be worth a look.

    Of course jingoism takes over. Zero tollerance has long been the Christchurch Police Policy for the poor and brown.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    CCTV is everywhere in Churchur.
    Smile and know someone watching them, is more bored than you have ever been.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Russ and others

    I was not preaching, only responding to a post complaining about not being able to relax after a hard day at work. Using drugs, legal and otherwise to deal with that is a route to dependancy at least. I am no one to deny someone their pleasures (thanks Ben for noticing), but everything in moderation and don't dismiss the powers of the sorts of alternatives I offered. Just be careful out there, that's all.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    directly or indirectly, derived a benefit from significant criminal activity

    Not to mention defence lawyers

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • jo kerr,

    Um, it's a free publication isn't it?

    No
    http://www.hempstore.co.nz/product_info.php?products_id=67

    Whats your point ?

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    I went into a shop yesterday where two of the employees had been charged and bailed. The owners were still locked up. The police had played them the tapes of them giving advice but they didn't have copies yet.

    They think at least two, perhaps three different police, male and female, went in wearing recording devices and asked questions about products and growing stuff. Two of them came back twice asking more questions. One of the employees had nothing at home but the other had a grow, just over the guideline size for supply (9 plants)

    A copy of the A5 form police had ready to be used is posted here PhotobucketLink Sorry, you might have to squint a bit!

    The evening of the shop busts we got a call from a genuine medpot user. He was sitting in his car up the road from his home, returning from work. He had a 5 plant grow in his attic. There were police all over the place waiting for him with his wife and kids.

    Police and complicit media are painting the picture of an "organised criminal ring" but in reality there are quite a few very small growers caught up, with genuine need for medicinal use of cannabis. I notice there hasn't been a 'tally up" of plant numbers yet. All they've repeated over is guns, meth etc.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I was not preaching, only responding to a post complaining about not being able to relax after a hard day at work.

    But that wasn't what Steve said. He said this:

    What are we supposed to do. Are we to just get up in the morning and go off to work, work all day and then return home to sleep?. Are we not allowed to have any thought or activity that is outside those proscribed by those that have clawed their way to the top of the pile? Those that profess to know better than the common man?

    Which was more of a philosophical cri de coeur than a cry for help. Steve has an active job and an active mind, I promise you.

    But don't fret: your helpful advice is part of your charm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

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