I arrived last night to the Daktory on Delta Ave, New Lynn to see a paddy wagon and a police car. I was sad. Many people, including myself have spent over a decade researching, writing to MP's , Doctors , Lawyers and Judges about the fact that cannabis is a part of our New Zealand culture. Not only have many people also reached that conclusion; The Law Commission also concluded last year in its report that cannabis has historically been used for medical purposes.
In fact the Law Commission goes as far to say , "At this stage we think that the cultivators of cannabis should be licensed in the same way as other legitimate dealers in controlled drugs" but it also makes the point that cannabis is a medical issue.
This is where I think the issue is and the problem lies.
Cannabis use is medicinal and recreational. Like alcohol, many use cannabis to feel better, many get relief from pain and cannabis has other therapeutic purposes. Where are our human rights to chose our own medicine?
In my opinion the crux of the issue is that cannabis is illegal and comes under the justice department instead of being viewed medical and being treated as a medical issue and sometime problem, like alcohol and tobacco.
It seems logical to treat cannabis in the same way as the two other drugs we have legalised and use frequently.
Shutting down the Daktory is the same as suddenly closing the local watering hole. As anyone familiar with cannabis users will tell you. Stoned people are rarely aggressive, loud , violent or randy. Nor do they have the urge to urinate in gardens or vomit on footpaths. I ask, why are we as a society, so tolerant of alcohol and so intolerant of cannabis use?
I am concerned that instead of viewing this model as a safe way to manage cannabis use in the community and reduce the rate of alcohol consumption the Police are being used by a Government trying to crack down on the vulnerable. Not only that, the likely result of this police action will only put the money and power back into the hands of the organised criminal gangs.
The people taken in the paddy wagon Gizella Von Trigt, Dakta Blaze and Solar as well as Julian Crawford all deserve recognition of their combined efforts to bring about law reform. Its not so long ago that brothels were illegal and so was being gay. If you don't agree that's ok, but perhaps its because you just don't understand that over 50% of New Zealanders have tried cannabis. Are we a 50% criminal country or just a country with a law that is criminal?