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Thirty Auckland police waste time on cannabis

Thirty Auckland police waste time on cannabis 'crime'

Green MP Nandor Tanczos says Auckland could immediately gain the equivalent of another 30 sworn police officers - if police were directed not to enforce the ludicrous cannabis laws.

In answer to a written question from Nandor, the Police Minister stated that 55,394 police hours were spent investigating cannabis offences in the Auckland area alone in the year 2000 (and 298,463 hours nationally.)

"That is like 30 Auckland officers a year (and more than 150 nationally) working on nothing but cannabis cases, mostly small amounts for personal use," said Nandor.

"This is a crazy waste of police time and resources - especially when Auckland police officers are telling us that they don't have the numbers to tackle serious crime properly.

"And how ironic is it that Hawkins wants to fix the problem by hiring up to 80 British officers? Britain, of course, has finally seen sense and moved to decriminalise cannabis. British police officers now have the time to deal with serious crime.

"International study after international study has found that prohibition does not work. Britain, Canada and Switzerland are just the latest countries to realise that their police have more important things to do than bust people for pot.

"Peter Dunne's political veto on reforming cannabis laws is a tragedy for the thousands of average New Zealanders persecuted by those laws every year. It is also a tragedy for ordinary Aucklanders who can't find a police officer when they need one."

ENDS

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