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Cannabis double standard as cops look after own

22 February 2002

Cannabis double standard as cops look after their own

Green Justice Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos today questioned police handling of a case in which no action is being taken after cannabis was found in the car of an off duty police officer, after the car was crashed in Christchurch.

Nandor said he was concerned that police had put so many resources into the illegal search, arrest and failed prosecution of Auckland man Chris Fowlie for possession of a tiny piece of cannabis but were taking no action against a fellow officer when a larger amount of cannabis was found in her crashed car.

"It stinks of double standard. It kind of makes you wonder when police can hound Chris Fowlie all the way through the courts on trumped up charges, but take a softer line on fellow law enforcers who are found to have cannabis in their cars.

"The fact that police are treating this as an internal matter means that it is not open to public scrutiny and it is hard for police to avoid accusations of a cover up. I am especially interested in who was driving the car when it was crashed and the results of the evidential breath test which was reportedly undertaken," said Nandor.

"Lets be clear, I don't think anyone should be charged for possessing cannabis in their own time, and there is no indication at this stage that cannabis was in any way linked to the accident. But, like the billionaire American, this case shows once again that there is one law for ordinary people and another for the privileged.

"Following the Fowlie case, and now this, there really is an urgent need for an independent review of police practices and for an immediate change to outdated, discriminatory and selectively applied cannabis laws."


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