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Police Brutality Mars Peaceful Smoke In


NORML (National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) NZ

Police Brutality Mars Peaceful Smoke In

Nelson’s ‘Merry Cannabis’, a yuletide public defiance of cannabis prohibition, attracted a noticeable amount of uniformed and plainclothes police officers. That didn’t stop the hardy crew who showed up from inhaling. 6 uniformed police were standing in all of the entrances to the site of the smoke in before any law reform supporters arrived. They stayed until the event ended after two arrests at around 2 o’clock.

Cannabis law reform supporters casually smoked cannabis during the event, despite police warnings that anyone lighting up would be arrested. The staunch reform supporters who weren’t dissuaded from attending spent a lot of time asking the bored and embarrassed looking police why they were there.

Not long after local media left the area, a plainclothes officer pounced on event organiser Julian Crawford and tried to take a joint out of his hand. The officer made no attempt to identify himself as police and Julian pulled his hand off his wrist. Two more police piled on and a protracted struggle ensued before Julian was handcuffed and taken away. A number of police appeared to deliberately avoid becoming involved in this over the top thuggish attack. Other law reform supporters were threatened with obstructing police and Julians brother, Alex Crawford, was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis. Julian was charged with inciting disorder, resisting arrest and possession of cannabis.

They are bailed to appear at the Nelson District Court on the 11th of January. They intend to plead not guilty.

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