4.20 Protest at Parliament in support of Kelly
van GaalenBy Francis Cook
A protest led by NORML and the Legalise Cannabis Party rolled up to the Parliament steps at 4.20 this Wednesday to protest the imprisonment of Kelly van Gaalen.
Van Gaalen was arrested for possession of 684g of cannabis which she admitted was hers. Van Gaalen is a mother of three and a recipient of the Northland Local Hero award for her work in the community.
She had two plants growing on her property for personal use and to share with around 20 personal friends. She has been sentenced to two years in prison.
Health spokesperson for the Legalise Cannabis Party, Alistair Gregory, said groups have been meeting every Wednesday at 4.20 to protest for legalisation of cannabis, normally outside the Supreme Court – this Wednesday’s choice of location was specifically in support of Van Gaalen.
Many supporters evidently didn’t get the memo on time, the turn out being rather small. Alistair admitted they had left it a bit late to organise.
Mr. Gregory is in support of full legalisation but said decriminalisation or medicinal legislation would be welcome. Suffering from Spina Bifida, Mr. Gregory uses cannabis medicinally himself making it a very personal issue. He said people like him are being “completely ignored” but the current government.
Asked if he had faith in any current MPs to work toward a change, he listed Grant Robertson, David Seymour, Metiria Turei and to a lesser extent Peter Dunne.
The group lit up two joints at 4.20 and passed them around to their left hand side. They were left in peace by security.