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Raids On Hydroponic Shops Good News For Gangs

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FOR IMMEDIATE USE

APRIL 28, 2010

‘Police Raids On Hydroponic Shops Good News For Gangs’ Says Green Cross

Green Cross spokesperson Billy McKee today said that this week's raids by police targeting hydroponic supply shops must be ‘good news’ for gangs, but is very bad news for medical cannabis users.

“The organised criminal groups which control New Zealand’s 'tinny house' networks are going to come out the winners here”, Mr McKee said. “By making it harder for your average person to buy hydroponic growing systems, the police have just given the black market more customers.”

“Decades of prohibition have given gangs the financial resources to grow and become powerful. They are far too resilient to be affected by this”, he said.

Mr McKee said that Operation Lime will hit the ‘grow your own at home’ medical cannabis users the hardest – sick people who don’t want to be involved in the black market and who grow small amounts for themselves.

“These are people with serious conditions who cannot or don’t want to have to go to a ‘tinny house’ to buy their medicine”, said Mr McKee.

Mr McKee pointed out that, despite their vulnerability, patients who aren’t given the opportunity to find safe supplies of cannabis - such as growing their own - will end up doing what has to be done.

“That means going to the black market and dealing with potentially violent criminal types.”

“It’s a very sad day when New Zealand police spend two years and enormous resources on a campaign like this trying to do the impossible - stop people using cannabis”, Mr McKee concluded.

ends

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