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NORML President Busted By Police

NORML President Busted By Police

“Zero Tolerance” Police Search Leads To Arrest For Possession Of One Very Small Cannabis Bud

Chris Fowlie appears in the Auckland District Court 9:30am Friday 6 July

Chris Fowlie, the President of NORML NZ since 1997, has been arrested and appears in the Auckland District Court this Friday 6 July at 9am facing a criminal charge of possession of cannabis. He is represented by barrister Peter Winter.

Mr Fowlie was arrested following a supposedly ‘random’ search that he says broke the Bill of Rights. He sees this case as an “opportunity to put cannabis prohibition on trial”.

“I intend to fight this charge and pursue justice for myself and the half of this country this law defines as criminals. My rights have been contravened by the police, including my privacy, my liberty, my right to be free from arbitrary search and seizure, and they have held me against my wishes and without a complainant. I am not a criminal, and it is time the police learn that they cannot go around abusing people’s rights with arbitrary searches.

“I was searched on the flimsiest of pretenses as part of a sweep of Karangahape Road by the police. I had been standing on K’ Road talking to a friend and minding my own business when a police officer approached and asked if we had anything in our pockets that we shouldn’t have. We replied no, and he said that we wouldn’t mind if he searched us. We declined, and the Misuse of Drugs Act was then invoked on the basis that they said we smelt of cannabis. When I said that was unlikely as no-one had smoked anything, a female officer verbally abused me, calling me a ‘f**kwit’.

“A small outdoor cannabis bud - enough for half a joint at the most - was found and I was arrested by this same officer who proclaimed herself to be “zero tolerance on cannabis”. This officer will soon find herself the subject of a formal complaint to the PCA.

“I have no criminal record and will never plead guilty or cooperate with this law in any way. While I face being jailed for possessing this non-toxic and non-addictive natural herb, I would rather face this risk than cooperate with a law that is in itself criminal.”

For more information, contact Chris Fowlie on 025 297-6843

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