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No Search Powers For Fantasy - Nandor

25 March 2002

Green spokesperson for Drug Policy Nandor Tanczos said today he did not support the Health select committee recommendation to classify Fantasy as a B1 drug because of the search powers it would give to the police.

"There is increasing concern, including from the courts, that the power to search without warrant is already being misused by police. The last thing we want is to extend it."

Nandor was the Green Party member on the Health select committee deciding on the drug's classification. Parliament is expected to finalise the classification this week.

"The bill of rights guarantees us freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The power to search without warrant is a breach of this right," said Nandor.

Nandor said that he would support a B2 rating for the drug. B2 has the same penalties as B1, but police have to get a warrant before they carry out any searches.

Penalties for all offences under the B schedule are:
* Up to 14 years imprisonment for importation, manufacture or supply
* Up to 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit an offence
* Up to three months imprisonment or $500 fine or both for possession

"Search warrants are easy for police to obtain, particularly to target importation, manufacture or supply which should be their priority. The ability to search people because of how they look, which is how search without warrant powers are often used, is not needed."


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