Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    the existence of licensed premises doesn't seem to have made it much harder for them to drink tho (but obviously prohibition is still not the best solution)

    I was thinking of having to purchase and smoke on licensed premises. If you remove 90% of the demand for the black market, you'd come close to killing it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Curiouser and curiouser. As Bomber Bradbury pointed out, these asset seziure laws were sold to public as getting tough on the gangs. However, It seems a pattern is quickly emerging of the police using them instead to target businesses whose activities they don't approve of.

    Coming soon: Shutting down nightclubs and pubs that have a history of not toeing the police line after an undercover officer allegedly buys a point from the bartender?

    Golly, the police abusing new powers in a way the cavalier lawmakers never intended. Who would have thought that could have happened??

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Yes Tom, I was about to post that too. Receipt for thirty year old wedding rings?, their own wedding rings??
    FFS, pawn brokers have always been on the slightly dodgy side, not just the legal but the moral, i.e. Setting up next to a TAB for instance, but why are the police coming down on them now? We have had laws in place for years to allow police to charge those receiving stolen property, this is what happens when you pass a law that, basically, says "If you can't prove it's yours then it's mine"
    A return to serfdom where the best we can do is aspire to be Villeins?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    How many of you actually write a letter to the editor of your local paper saying those intelligent and perceptive things?

    I wrote to Your Veiws (sic) once, I had to have a shower afterwards.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    As Stephen McIntyre said, there are some great ideas being written here. and ultimately I can generally never fault New Zealanders for their ideas in response to the restrictions that we are bound by.

    But the answer to these problems are not words, the problems are not specifically in the word of the law. They are in the kudos given to the law, the way the law is enacted, interpreted and prosecuted. We could write words to an MP, a paper, a politician, but screeds have already been written with little in the way of reponse.

    We can base our argument, on harm reduction or freedom of choice, minimal risk, or religious freedom. Make no mistake, the issue here is the criminalization of the trivial.

    and the quickest most viable solution is in trivializing the criminality.

    this can be achieved with action. with regular public displays of this criminal action. but to do this people must work together. People must be prepared to put their money where their mouths are.

    a group of 50+ people from all walks of life smoking weed in a public place can be ignored as a one off occurrence, once every 365 days it's easily pigeonholed by the powers that be as a marginalized activity committed by 'outsiders'

    But if large groups, of all walks of life, begin very publicly engaging in this activity, on a very regular basis. the stress on police resources will hasten the required change. Disenfranchising the law is the quickest method of bringing about change to that law.

    Sure there are risks, you may be arrested, you may be fined, incarcerated for a time, you may have to be careful, you may feel paranoid for the duration of your activism. but ultimately in numbers, fearlessly and righteously you will trivialize the criminality.

    This is not worded so well. but words are comparatively ineffective anyway. Ultimately it comes down to a question of numbers. There are 550,000 smokers. There are not 550,000 police officers. and there are 52 Sundays in a year. It requires courage and belief, cohesion and resolve, collaboration and commitment. people will be hit hard more than once, several times in fact. but ultimately this is a righteous war that can be won. This year.

    Networking and organization is the Key. To those employed in delicate circumstances, your inability to involve yourselves is understandable. but to the self employed, the beneficiaries and the students, this is your time.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But if large groups, of all walks of life, begin very publicly engaging in this activity, on a very regular basis. the stress on police resources will hasten the required change.

    I really wish I could agree with that. Problem is that the logic of large numbers of people breaking the law = this law is not working, escapes the average politician. The response to such civil disobedience is more likely to be "this problem is getting worse, we must act to stamp it out by building more prisons". Sure, it would logically lead to a social imbalance of more people in prison than out but the powers that be will never see that, especially if those in prison lose their voting rights.
    The only way to change this would be by referendum, the only thing politicians notice is the numbers on a ballot.
    Let's see how this massive turnout on the mining issue pans out, maybe we are seeing a return to a strong protest movement in this country. It is about time for the people to be counted, I, for one, am one and you can all be too, or was that two?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I really wish I could agree with that. Problem is that the logic of large numbers of people breaking the law = this law is not working, escapes the average politician. The response to such civil disobedience is more likely to be "this problem is getting worse,

    I can smell your fear from here Steve, and the politicians love the obedience you proffer to their laws, you assist them with your words. Your insinuation that smokers will all be locked away and more prisons will be built to incarcerate 550,000 people is risible. Give the law kudos. And enjoy the long and the arduous.

    Let's see how this massive turnout on the mining issue pans out, maybe we are seeing a return to a strong protest movement in this country.

    I'm not suggesting protest, I'm suggesting doing what is natural, regularly, quietly, without fanfare, to be seen not just by the politicians, or the police but by everyone. Total disenfranchisement.

    Regimental protest is the best method in dealing with some issues and not others. , "Let's see how this turns out before doing that" is an ineffective approach to simultaneous problems.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Your attitude highlights why it's so easy for politicians and lawmakers in New Zealand Steve.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    That's not fear you can smell. ;-)
    I am a pragmatist and you are an idealist. I don't particularly want to walk down the street smoking a joint and get all "Rah Rah Rah" on it but feel free to do so if that is your wish (you won't be free for long, you mark my words). Yes, the law needs to change but I hardly think this should be a case for revolution, slowly slowly catch the monkey, and monkeys they are, frightening the little old law abiding ladies ain't gonna get you nowhere buddy.
    Nandor Tanczos soon found out that being perceived as a one trick pony soon damaged his credibility and those that think they have all the answers tend to denigrate those that step out of the square, as it were. Swimming against the stream just wears you down in the end but the tide will change eventually, as it has in the States, and you will find that when that tide changes there will be a lot of people, that were blathering on about how bad cannabis was, saying "Well, I always said the law was wrong". Hypocrites and hyperbole go hand in hand and justice will win through in the end.

    Ah, I love the smell of pomposity in the P.M.
    Brought to by cliché central, where the platitudes play

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    the street smoking a joint... you won't be free for long, you mark my words

    Every single time I've been busted with pot, they confiscate and nothing more is said or done. Many police smoke. I was free, am and will remain free, because the chances of being imprisoned for lighting up in public are slim, made all the slimmer if 49 others are doing the same at the same time. this is not idealization. this is simply how it is. I guess you have never been caught in possession.

    I am a pragmatist and you are an idealist.

    50 people simultaneously lighting up in separate areas of a city, both publicly and visibly, on a regular basis to encourage old ladies to call the police, will put massive stress on the resources available. and as wrong as it is, the police have more sway with the Government than the people.

    It's not that piracy is legal in China. It's that it's viral and the populace is encouraged by others' disobedience. The expectation that 550,000 people can pass a referendum shows little pragmatism unless there is already significant visibility of the reality.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    50 people simultaneously lighting up in separate areas of a city, both publicly and visibly, on a regular basis to encourage old ladies to call the police,

    Ah. But. This whole thread started because 250 people got arrested for doing even less than that and as I said earlier, this may be the thin end of the wedge in terms of the public's acceptance of the police attitude to "harmless" activities when they see a general ineptitude, by those same police, to problems they perceive as having a greater impact on their lives, child abuse, boy racers, graffiti and gang activities.
    The latter of those is, of course, dependant on the fact that drugs are illegal and without that income, from illegal drugs, the gangs will lose their viability. Stamping out the gangs by legalising drugs is a no-brainer in my thinking.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    So Steve you know for a fact that

    250 people got arrested for doing even less than that

    ie lighting up
    I think it might be nice to see the facts rather than "opinions" before we leap to these peoples defense

    In fact that statment is as silly as the one that because they have been selling for years that's ok
    It may be knowledge but that defense doesn't work once you are past three years of age dude.

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    The latter of those is, of course, dependant on the fact that drugs are illegal and without that income, from illegal drugs, the gangs will lose their viability. Stamping out the gangs by legalising drugs is a no-brainer in my thinking.

    I agree totally Steve. My logic here is that in reality New Zealand already has unofficial decriminalization of possession of useable quantites of marijuana (today is J-day no?). The law does not correspond with this unspoken reality. Putting pressure on the powers that be to change this outmoded possession law (via excessive strain on police resources), will necessitate reassessment of the laws of supply and growth etc

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    50 people simultaneously lighting up in separate areas of a city, both publicly and visibly, on a regular basis to encourage old ladies to call the police, will put massive stress on the resources available. and as wrong as it is, the police have more sway with the Government than the people.

    No it won't. This happens twice a week on the Otago University campus and only a couple of times in the past four years have the police done anything.

    Which might sound wonderful, but the basic premise of Non-violent direct action is that you need to provoke a response from authority. Currently the protest doesn't provoke a response so the need to change the law isn't obviously to wider society.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    If i may restructure your post there Kyle:

    on the Otago University campus

    50 people simultaneously lighting up in separate areas of a city

    ie. 50 separate areas.

    need to provoke a response from authority

    to encourage old ladies to call the police,

    ie. within noseshot of people who look as if they may respond accordingly.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    Steve , Chris and Tom your missing the issue right in front of our noses.

    This large undercover police operation against 'cannabis criminals' , the vindictiveness of some of the charges laid against the store employees, the bail conditions of customers having to produce ID and leave their details is all bloody wrong .............

    Switched on Gardener and the other dozen or so grow stores targeted have been stamped on by the state and they will be dead and buried unless people say "this is wrong" and support them.

    The simple way to support them is go in there and buy a bloody drink ............ or a magazine ............ or whatever.

    Fill out your details and leave a message to any time squandering police officer who may get to read it.

    If enough people did that the stores may survive ......... otherwise they are history.

    Never mind your theoretical cannabis activist ideas.

    Heres an organization which has supported cannabis reform getting hammered.

    If you think its wrong and want to do something go and buy something from them ..........

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I've got to hand it to you, that's an inspired and imperative post nz native. Great Ideas.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • alobar,

    Stamping out the gangs by legalising drugs is a no-brainer in my thinking.

    really?
    so lots of gang members will suddenly go out and get regular jobs instead of selling drugs?

    auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    so lots of gang members will suddenly go out and get regular jobs instead of selling drugs?

    Gangs will always do what they do,(basically we get over it and let the police deal with it ) but if one was allowed to grow a plant and not rely on a supply from outside forces, then the market will reduce.Gang members do go out to work legitimate jobs and even Councils( iirc Kawerau) have employed them in force when work is available, especially in construction. This initiative is to help from returning to the same ol', same ol' once they return into the community from jail which most of them do, remember.If the weed could be decriminalised, many of the issues( including wasting our money on this destruction of legitimate businesses) that stem from it including value would become minimal, then funding could be directed at education and rehabillitation, rather than more police, more prisons.It's plain logic. Can't disagree until you try it.

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

  • nz native,

    Thank's chris . I was just trying to re-focus us onto the pressing issue at hand which is a concerted effort to wipe out these stores and hurt the owners and employees.

    alobar ............ prohibition is like steroids for gangs and organized crime, it makes them grow. Without it they would be weak and have far less influence in society and less interaction with our young people.

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    The thing I've never understood about the police attitude to gangs and drugs is that we can be sure that on any given day that those often very clearly marked buildings are dealing all manner of drugs and are most likely breaking any number of other laws on the premises, and yet busts are so infrequent.....

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    and yet busts are so infrequent.....

    These new laws have made way to grab the gangs assets, so that could be the next move for the police plus undercover do try to infiltrate them. The gangs aren't stupid, which, let's face it, is often the people that the police tend to get. They seem to target easy busts first, then hope for informants to give up a big fish to save their own arse, and gangs don't do that.They wouldn't cross their brotherhood (hell, they go to jail for eah other)and now it's been said that gangs are working together as one organisation which is just a natural progression of big business.I'd ask Pita Sharples. He seems to have a raport with the Black Power. He has had them into Parliament, in the House even.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Here's the latest: an unpublished ESR study supplied to the Sunday News by police shows cannabis "is now more than four times stronger than it was when ESR last tested it in 1996."

    You have to actually read the story to find that the sweeping claim is based on three batches of six plants grown under optimum conditions by ESR scientists, two of them involving Red Devil, a modern pure indica strain.

    Enter Detective Inspector Stuart Mills to declare "it's not the social drug of the 60s any more ..."

    The police are working pretty hard to sell their story this week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Here's a proper study of cannabis potency from the European monitoring agency.

    The territories surveyed use the same modern strains, but average potency is nowhere near that found by ESR -- presumably because it's actual commercial pot, not a handful of plants grown by scientists.

    Indeed, the European analysis notes the same New Zealand historical data on potency at the Sunday News story does -- the historical figures come from cannabis actually seized by police. Drawing a comparison between those data, and results from 18 plants grown by ESR scientists would seem to be a very odd thing to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's also of dubious relevance, period. People smoke until they feel high enough. That's how it's done. If it's stronger, you don't smoke as much. Which is actually better, at least from a health point of view.

    It's like saying that wine is 4 times more alcoholic than beer. Yes, that's why you don't drink a six pack of wine in a night.

    I guess you can potentially overdose on wine more easily, if you drink it really fast. But I'm not aware of a single instance in the history of humanity of someone overdosing on pot. It's consumed until people have "had enough", or run out. That's the same for piss weak cabbage from the 80s or super skunk from 2010.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

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