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Cowan Death – Another Tragic Waste Ignored By Govt

Press release
16 October 2003

Cowan Death – another tragic waste ignored by Govt.

Mild Greens say that Police and Court resources wasted on a failed attempt to convict 3 men for the 2001 murder of 23yr old cannabis dealer Philip Cowan represents tragedy, dysfunction and considerable expense to the taxpayer – and all for nothing.

In fact all for WORSE than nothing - “No one gets murdered over cannabis in Holland”, say the Mild Greens – “The Dutch have a 27 year precedent for trade in recreational cannabis in a successful harm reduction model – and their taxpayers aren’t feeding an ugly prohibition/home-invasion industry which doesn’t even restrict use”.

As if idiots, Jim Anderton, Helen Clark and the Labour-led Government administer a dangerous criminal trade in marijuana, utterly compromising community safety and honesty and respect, and generating the “matrix of dysfunction” afflicting New Zealand.

The tragedy for Cowan and his family is the tip of the iceberg of the ‘unintended consequences’ of a culturally unpopular “prohibition” which exists in name only, say the Mild Greens.

The blindly idiotic law ignores the fact that there are many many friendly neighbourhood cannabis dealers at work in New Zealand – many are hobbyists and conscientious objectors, and no more guilty of their ‘non-crime’ than the 300,000 survey-acknowledged cannabis using Kiwis.

And even if dealers make a good living out of pot, how is that any worse than beer barons who are the richest men in the country, frequently honoured with knighthoods and such?

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By all accounts Cowan was a good and popular fellow, and successful as a cannabis entrepreneur, until some thugs allegedly moved in on his drug-dealing currency (and no body was ever found).

Mild Greens say it is ironic that the inquiry head Detective Inspector Stephen Vaughan says the investigation has taught [the police] a great deal about the cannabis trade.

What crap, say the Mild Greens – all they learned (at $80 an hour per cop) is that it is bloody difficult to get reliable evidence from the black market – and in this instance because of the ‘narc status’ of the key informant (see post script).

“The external costs of prohibition are not being factored in to the cost-benefit analysis”.

(in fact there is no cost-benefit analysis of cannabis enforcement, despite being budgeted by the Ministry of Health in 1996 as part of a consultation-approved National Drug Policy (then buried and reincarnated as ‘status quo’))

The tried-and-trusted modus operandi of successive NZ governments is to avoid examination, analysis and quantification which would compel it to change the law.

A recent NZ inquiry into health strategies relating to cannabis failed to properly quantify the harms of prohibition (thus resolving once and for all the most appropriate legal status, as was their brief), but agreed that adults modest use of the herb should not be criminalised.

The Mild Greens fully expect the traitor government – and appointed drug czars Jim Anderton (associate health) and Phil Goff (justice) will sidestep the Health Select Committee recommendation that the Justice and Electoral Committee to consider an appropriate legal status for cannabis.

At every step in what should be a straight forward appraisal of the legitimacy of the foul practice of criminalisation, we get ‘hedging’ say the Mild Greens. Sadly our political representatives are more concerned with deceiving the public than actually serving us, and stopping this evil and vicious law.


ps. Some real insight re ‘narcing’:

notes from Mild Greens field worker (anonymous): “what interests me is the treatment and methods that the police deal with "standard narcs". Just about every person busted is offered a "deal" in exchange for names, very few take up on this deal but some do. Now the cops dont like "narcs" but they do like their information, its always been my belief that they "hook" narcs and once a person has done the dirty I think the police would never leave them alone, they could threaten to release the information that the person has been narcing. It would be really interesting to see some stats on the narcs, like how many leave the country and how many kill themselves ( or get killed ). My other belief is that a lot of narcing is done by Women, especialy at the end of a relationship or with people they fall out with.” ++643 3894065 mailto:

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