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Cannabis Party calls for Van Gaalen's release


Cannabis Party calls for Van Gaalen's release


The Cannabis Party is calling for Northland business woman and mother of three Kelly Van Gaalen to be freed.

Mrs Van Gaalen was arrested after her family were the victims of a home invasion. Police found cannabis which she admitted was for personal use.

She had two plants, including one that had grown "exceptionally well", a family spokesperson said. "She was a victim of an exceptional gardening skill."

Van Gaalen Appealed her 2-year jail sentence last year.

"This case highlights the huge disparity between sentences judges are handing out for similar cannabis offences," party leader Julian Crawford said.

"Judge John MacDonald should apologise for the distress he has caused the Van Gaalen family."

Crawford said that Judge MacDonald had made a mockery of the judicial system and he should return to retirement.

Van Gaalen was on the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board as well as the chair of the Kaikohe Community Arts Council and promotions manager for the Kaikohe Business Association. In 2014 she was one of 15 Northlanders to receive a Local Heroes medal.

ends

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