White Flag at Parliament.

It’s time for a monthly activism event for cannabis legalisation.

WHAT?
NORML White Flag Meeting

WHERE?
NZ Parliament Buildings
Molesworth Street
Wellington 6160
New Zealand

WHEN?
6th MARCH, 01:00pm at the Richard Sedden statue.
Assemble in front of Cenotaph at 12:45pm

WHY?
To demand the immediate release of Dakta Green from Mt Eden prison.
To highlight the Law Commission Report on the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
Also, continue to request compassion, and common sense cannabis law reform – and an Armistice to end the War on Drugs.

HOW?
We carry with us, the international symbol for peaceful dialogue – The White Flag.
We will walk from the Cenotaph at 01:00pm up to the Richard Sedden statue. Once there, we will pause for a One Minute Silence for the victims of the global War on Drugs.
Following that, will be a few words spoken regarding our actions, and our intentions for these meetings, with a reading of the letter, and then a photo or two..

NORML members, and also non-members are all welcome, a desire for sensible law reform is all that is required.

Compare and contrast: A tale of two prison sentences

This sentence:

A convicted rapist who threatened to shoot his nieces and eat their hearts has had his prison sentence for threatening to kill reduced by four months…

Justice Anthony Randerson said: “On the face of it, it does seem a pretty stiff sentence. He was in prison, he couldn’t carry out (the threat) for a number of years.”

The Court of Appeal has now quashed Faaleaga’s sentence and replaced it with a reduced sentence of six months.

With this sentence:

The founder of New Zealand’s first cannabis club, Dakta Green, has had his jail sentence more than doubled following an appeal by the Solicitor General.

Green, 61, who ran The Daktory in New Lynn, Auckland, for more than 30 months, was sentenced in June to eight months’ jail for selling cannabis, possession of cannabis and allowing a premises to be used for commission of a crime against the Misuse of Drugs Act…

The Solicitor General appealed the sentence last month and in a decision recently released the Court of Appeal quashed Green’s orginal sentence and increased his jail term to 23 months.

Anyone else think something is very wrong here?

What about the evidence?

No Right Turn blogs:

Today is a Member’s Day, and the big debate today is likely to be on Metiria Turei’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill. The goal of the bill is to allow people with severe medical conditions to use cannabis for pain and nausea relief – something which ought to be a straight medical question of whether it is safe and effective. But the bill muddies the waters by letting those sick people get a license to grow their own or buy it from a designated agent – something which significantly reduces the cost, but which is bound to inflame the anti-drug wingnuts.

The Health Committee recently considered this issue in response to a petition from NORML [PDF]. Despite being told by the Ministry of Health that cannabis was a safe and effective medicine for some conditions with fewer and less dangerous side-effects than medicines currently in use, the furtherest it would go was recommending that one (prohibitively expensive) cannabis-based medicine be made easier to prescribe. Based on that, I think there’s no enthusiasm to pass this bill in this Parliament. Which means that people who find cannabis effective in treating their ailments will just have to keep breaking the law.

I might be pleasantly surprised, but I suspect No Right Turn is correct – that this very sensible Bill will be voted down, despite the evidence showing that cannabis is an extremely effective analgesic in these circumstances and has far less adverse side effects and is far cheaper (free if you grow it yourself) than alternatives.

Why can’t the other parties emulate the Greens by basing their policies on evidence, rather than pandering to often bigoted and uninformed public opinion?

Dumb and dumber

Currently the most popular story on the Stuff site:

A man briefly lit up a cannabis joint in Parliament before being nabbed by security yesterday.

The man lit the joint in the public gallery about 5.30pm during the second reading of the Resource Management (Climate Protection) Amendment Bill.

He was quickly grabbed by security and removed. There was no indication it was any sort of protest, said Parliamentary Services spokesman Warren Inkster.

Apart from breaking drug laws, the man would have broken Parliamentary codes of conduct surrounding behaviour in the chamber, Mr Inkster said.

Parliament’s premises were also non-smoking.

Even if it were a protest, it was a pretty dumb one.

Mind you, the last guy who got big publicty for lighting up in an enclosed public space ended up becoming a Cabinet Minister.

A challenge for Rodders

The ODT reports:

The new Minister for Regulatory Reform, Rodney Hide, is asking the public for ideas on what regulatory regimes he should scrap or modify.

Well, here’s a challenge for Rodders. He’s long been a supporter of cannabis law reform – just ask Liberty Scott, who blogged this – one of the few things you and I agree on Scott.

So if he’s wanting a public response on regulations that are unnecessary and waste public money, how about suggesting that he should get the new Government to support the repeal of the prohibition of possession of cannabis for personal use.

This silly law wastes heaps of resources in three Government Departments (Police, Courts, and Corrections), and makes criminals out of people who do no harm to anyone or anything.

Seems I also have the support of Steve Pierson at The Standard on this – it could be a cross-party campaign to finally get rid of this stupid law. Rodders just has to persuade the Nats, supposedly the other party of individual liberty, to get behind it and it’s a done deal. Greens+ACT+Nats = a majority.

Send your suggestions to rodney.hide@ministers.govt.nz.