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NORML's J Day letter to the Auckland Police

NORML's J Day letter to the Auckland Police Commander and his reply received today 1. Our letter delivered to the Central Police Station on J Day, 6 May 2000 2. Reply from H G Broad received in today's post


6 May 2000

Auckland Police District Commander c-/ Auckland Central Police Station Vincent Avenue AUCKLAND

Dear Sir,

NORML, on behalf of New Zealand’s half-million regular cannabis users, welcomes the stance taken by the Police which aims to address drug issues in a practical way.

The New Zealand Police have officially adopted a position of supporting the decriminalisation of marijuana (post-election briefing to the Minister of Police 1999). Senior officials from the New Zealand Police testified at the inquiry into the mental health effects of cannabis by the Health Select Committee (1998, p20), and acknowledged the concern that a minor drug conviction may have an excessively negative impact on the life of a young person, gave an assurance that they do not intend to prosecute those who publicly address the legal status of cannabis, and are willing to enter into discussions with cannabis law reform groups on these grounds. The Police have also implemented a range of alternatives to a court appearance, including the diversion scheme.

Given that alcohol abuse claims the lives of up to 500 New Zealanders per year, tobacco claims 4,500 lives per year, there have been no deaths directly attributable to cannabis, and police resources are extremely limited, we call upon the New Zealand Police to declare an immediate moratorium or amnesty on arresting people for using or possessing small amounts of cannabis, so that we can openly and honestly debate our cannabis laws without fear of arrest or persecution.

We recognise that the Police are put in an invidious position by the obligation to enforce this unjust and outdated law. We anticipate that drug law reform will see a much greater degree of trust and respect for the Police by members of the public, and a safer community as a result.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this matter, and we eagerly await your response.

Yours sincerely

Chris Fowlie President, National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, New Zealand Inc (1976)


Auckland City Police District District Commander's Office

8 May 2000

Chris Fowlie President National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, New Zealand Inc (1976) PO Box 3307 Shortland Street AUCKLAND

Dear Chris Fowlie

Thank you for your letter personally delivered to the Auckland Central Police Station in which you amongst other things compliment the Police on taking a practical stance on cannabis enforcement.

The current position of the New Zealand Police on cannabis reform can be summarised in the following three key messages:

1. Possession and use of cannabis, cultivation of cannabis, and possession of equipment for use with cannabis, are against the law.

2. Police deal with possession and minor use offences as they encounter them. However, we use specific tactics for targeting growing, dealing and supply of cannabis offences.

3. The Police Executive is currently analysing the cannabis issue with a view to establishing a position to help inform the debate.

This statement of policy replaces any direct or indirect statement of policy that might have been expressed by or on behalf of the Police Executive. I would ask that if representing the views of the Police in relation to cannabis that this statement be referenced as the current official position.

Thank you once again for troubling to write to me.

Yours sincerely

H G Broad District Commander

Superintendent Howard Broad Auckland City Police District Headquarters Private Bag 92002 Auckland DDI 9-3026766 Fax 9-3754650

================================================ National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NZ Inc.

Website: http://www.norml.org.nz Email: norml@apc.org.nz Subscribe to NORML News Online! Send mailto:norml@apc.org.nz with 'subscribe' [or 'unsubscribe'] in subject line

60 Queen Street Auckland New Zealand PO Box 3307 Shortland St Auckland 1015 Ph +64 9 302-5255 Fax +64 9 303-1309

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