Criminals are people who affect the good order of society. In the case of cannabis prohibition it is *the law itself* that is affecting the good order of our society, economy, and the environment. It also negatively affects the good order of society because it causes the law and police to be held in disregard, especially since it is harming good otherwise innocent productive people who have done nothing more than burn a dried up old plant flower, which is delicious and nutritious by the way!
New Zealand passed the Dangerous Drugs Act in 1927 banning cannabis and other drugs with no public discussion and little debate in parliament. Previously it was one of NZ’s chief medical exports around 1890. Strangely while it was patently obvious that alcohol prohibition fostered a lucrative and highly militarised gang culture in USA, and was quickly reversed, the same was not true of cannabis and other drugs. Some would even argue it provided another tool of racial oppression by western systems; seemingly against the Māori in New Zealand, black people in the US, or against the Rastafari of Jamaica. The dread-i are normally peaceful people with “one love” unity culture who wish to just burn a dried flower – but a catholic priest can burn incense made of whatever flowers he likes during his ceremony. How can that be?
Currently 2.27 million individuals languish in prison in the USA, a country of 318 million. They have the most and highest rate per capita only the Seychelles has higher incarceration. Compare this with the prison population of China a country that has supposedly terrible human rights records and no hint of democracy: 1.54 million from a population of 1.39 billion! There are cases in the US of people going to jail for a bag of weed. In New Zealand 16% are in prison for drug crimes (Source: Brian Rudman – NZ Herald Nov 5, 2014). A jury verdict to “Not Guilty” even in light of compelling and copious evidence including the admission of guilt to the actions presented may sadly have to be the way cannabis ends up decriminalised in this fine country.
Remember – one of the most vital purposes of a jury – one of the actual reasons they were created in 1215 was to protect good citizens from the tyranny of widely discredited unpopular laws. We even have a political party called ALCP devoted to it! If governments seem somehow unable to pass them, the police become machines bereft of ethical guidance…. just doing their job following the law like an ISIS fighter following the sharia law chopping another head off because you’re reptilian leader told you to?
In Latin, the phrase Cannabis Sativa means “useful”.
Indeed it is one of the most useful plants ever discovered, probably evolving alongside humans and is mentioned in every single ancient pharmacological manual ever produced: Ayurveda, Egyptian Papyrus. The Chinese term for “anesthesia” (mázui 麻醉) literally means “cannabis intoxication”. Called má 麻 (“hemp; numbness”) or dàmá 大麻 (“big; great”) in Chinese it was used in Taiwan for fiber starting about 10,000 years ago. An entire system of receptors in the brain is named after it: the endocannabinoid system. Humanity needs to be able to study this stuff safely.
Medicine in Latin is ars medicina, which means the art of healing. Musicians and artists are known to enjoy higher than normal doses of psychoactive substances. Creative people sometimes use drugs safely to expand their minds and great discoveries and art aren’t usually done in jail.
Leaving cannabis for a moment, Watson and Crick were taking LSD and high on it during the discovery and visualisation of the molecular shape of DNA; Evidently, Steve Jobs believed that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was “one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.” Without it not only would you probably not have an iPod, but you wouldn’t have much of the really trippy music that is on it [jokes]. Bill Gates admitted using it in a Playboy interview. Nobel Prize winning scientist Kary Mullis took plenty of it going so far as to call his experimentation with psychedelics and I quote “much more important than any course [he] ever took.”. In a BBC interview he later mused aloud – “What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR? I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.”. PCR is what powers most DNA testing by amplifying a faint piece of it. Recently the John Hopkins University School of Medicine came out with strong evidence (50-80% benefit) to support medical use of LSD (and Psilocybin) for severely depressed people. As such anyone charged should be considered technically Not Guilty until the re-classification of the drug. Someone should somehow prosecute the government in a way sufficient to trigger a funded scientific study of all traditional drugs as required under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013.
It may be the case that some people like to as they say in that song smoke weed till my eyes bleed. Perhaps as Socrates did they would be foolish to sacrifice themselves plead Not Guilty when all the best advice is to be untrue to the cause, buckle and head off to the new Drug Court which is a judge-alone trial without no jury. Socrates was executed in 399 BC after pleading Not Guilty to victimless crimes like this one. He was charged with the impious act of not believing in the correct deities and trying to come up with new ones. He died trying to make his point about the Roman legal system, sure hope you don’t. It’s in NZ’s best interest to discharge them without conviction or nullify and let them keep paying tax to Aotearoa rather than suck up more resources.
Finally… As a Jury member ask yourself if could you sleep well at night knowing you snuffed out another good innocent soul and that because of your selfish desire to finish the case and get out of court early just because they ran out of sandwiches or you got bullied by the bailiff or other jury members that the destruction, hurt, gang violence, and economic drag of prohibition will continue onward forever….. ? Or will stand up for what you believe in, be counted, hang the jury, and be part of NZ history by finding them unanimously NOT GUILTY by virtue of the power of jury nullification, and cause de facto decriminalisation of cannabis to finally begin in NZ in earnest?
Great article in the herald today: Brian Rudman: High time Govt took notice of facts on drug war
Some highlights from the report that was suppressed for six months by the tories:
In a study of the drug laws of 11 countries, New Zealand included, the report concludes that punitive regimes like those in Britain and New Zealand have no impact on drug use. As Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Crime Prevention Norman Baker pointed out, “banging people up and increasing sentences does not stop drug use”.
And also, some tidy NZ stats thrown in:
In 2011, the Law Commission’s review of the Misuse of Drugs Act noted that 400,000 Kiwis broke the cannabis law every year. Many regularly. It said the police spent 598,000 hours fighting the war on drugs at an estimated cost of more than $100 million annually. In 2009, personal possession and use offences made up 69 per cent of the 25,000 drug offences recorded by the police. Another report records that 16 per cent of the prison population are inside for drug-related crimes.
I fully agree Brian!
Did you know the government can seize your assets without a conviction? All they need now is an allegation that a crime may have taken place. Here is a record of every forfeiture ever done since 2003…
So I got frustrated by the slow progress of cannabis legalisation in this country and decided I’d like to know how much money the government is currently potentially getting from their nasty little Criminal Proceeds Act.
This is the request:
Please supply a log of every forfiture ever done under the Proceeds of Crime act. In order to anonymise the data, I am happy to only receive a subset of the total records, but must include
- date of forfiture
- amount in dollars
- geographic region (can be granular such as Otago/Auckland)
- name of the law or laws that were allegidly broken
- current status of the forfiture (in order to see if refunds are being given for falsely done forfitures)
- ideally a serial code / ID code to help ensure the data is real and provide (not strictly required)This should be dating back to 1991 when it was put into law.
They responded with a PDF file made from rasterised text (I’d need to re-type it) which I redacted and rasterised below.
I’ve also data entered the scan into Excel to produce the following digital version of the data.
Excel file version of table below: Official Information Request
|Number of forfeiture orders granted or granted by consent
between 2003 and 12 August 2013
order $ amounts ‘granted’ or ‘granted by consent’ between 2003 and 12 August
I also asked if it included the assets seized from one Kim Dotcom, to this their answer – from the Police this time – was as follows:
Here is an incredibly detailed analysis of the question of exactly how much would be saved in the USA if they went to full legalisation.
The report examines the budgetary implications of legalizing marijuana – taxing and regulating it like other goods – in all fifty states and at the federal level, and estimates that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. $5.3 billion of this savings would accrue to state and local governments, while $2.4 billion would accrue to the federal government.
Miron Report (PDF) 2005
Backup mirror of this image is at: http://images.onlineparalegalprograms.com.s3.amazonaws.com/going-green.jpg
Greetings to those present, your honour, people in the jury. Also, thanks to my many supporters in the gallery, big ups to each and every one, I give praise and thanks for your support. I would like to address the jury:
You personally today have the unique and once in a lifetime ability to change not just the course of one mans life – mine – but to also change the entire course of NZ legal history itself by contributing a precedent setting legal case due to Jury Nullification! How come? Why is this case gonna change the course of law?
That is because, like it or not, laws are created three ways:
- creatively by politicians
- destructively by judges
- and also destructively by juries like you (potentially) today in the appeal court!!!
You as a citizen and jury-member have the right to stand up and say, no fuck it, SecretStoner has a fucking point, this law is a motherfucking ass, screw this, fuck what you say, give the man a break, we find the defendant…. not guilty!
“Juries were instituted to protect citizens from the tyranny of government”
Clay S. Conrad defines “jury nullification” this way:
Jurors in criminal trials have the right to refuse to convict if they believe that a conviction would be in some way unjust… If juries are nothing more than rubber stamps, they are no limit on government’s power to pass unjust, immoral, or oppressive laws, and citizens are entirely at the mercy of sometimes jaded or corrupt courts and legislatures.
Jury Nullification in New Zealand
This Not-PC blog is decent and reminds us of the Waihopai verdict.
And for christs sake, look, why be all up and anctious about a herb which, well look this picture says it all…
I just wanna pay taxes and contribute to helping the environment and making some great music. Not sit in jail all day getting depressed about how cool my life used to be (and it was wicked) and how to rebuild it later. OK? Sort it. Power in your hand guvna. Do it jury man. Do me and your country proud. Do it for yourself.
Here is a letter I received as a comment from a guy called Drago, who is a reader of the blog. Thought I’d tidy it up a bit and post it here as a blog.
I have been thinking about the lobby to legalise maryjuana in Canada. And based on my extensive research, I have concluded that legalisation is inevitable. More and more of our best and brightest, in the universities are experimenting with pot, and finding it harmless. The common sentiment is that pot alleviates stress, helps with loss of appetite, and with the intraocular pressure which results in glaucoma.
In this particular application, pot is being found to be a workable alternative to the installation of an ocular shunt. A medical procedure which allows intraocular fluid to drain from the eye, through a small tube.
Or health care system must embrace organic alternatives. They are at the door, and certainly worthy of consideration and review. Yet our laws and social mores are considerably narrow in scope, and clumsy in application.
My review of the efforts of the proponents of legalisation has shown a few shortfalls in their collective efforts, in particular, and their socio-political profile in general. Clearly, legislators and the public, are not persuaded to consider a worthy deference to these dedicated crusaders of social development. The emphasis on legalisation is ever stifled with the spectre of “recreational use”. This “focus” generally stifles an intelligent and informed review of all the facts. Generally too few facts are taken into consideration by the public, and legislators. Too much emphasis on “use for pleasure” has misbalanced the debate from a faculty of enlightened review. Part of the problem stems from a very naive approach on the part of the proponents of legalisation. they do not present an argument which would command a certain respect from the parties which oppose them. The opposition is a savvy collection of business people and lawyers in government, highly educated, highly capable, and highly competitive. And certainly adept at the classic repate of negotiation and debate.
I am writing this letter in order to solicit funding for a strategic review committee. I have worked out the essential planks of a new PR platform and an overall negotiation strategy. I have considered the problem thoroughly, and have isolated one instrumental flaw in the approach.
Lawyers and business people expect negotiators to have an itemised agenda of demands, expectations, arguments, and reasonable points of settlement. Succinctly, the classic negotiation strategy employs a very confident and demanding opening move: Ask for much more that you expect to get, in case your opponent is sleepy and unprepared. If you do not do this, you will not be respected as a shrewd negotiator, and by extension, you will not be respected as a capable and serious man. This is the most essential and common ethos of negotiation. Ask for more. And let the opposition talk you down. This “engagement” allows for a lively, and therefore committed debate, and the satisfaction of a hard won settlement.
The instrumental plank in my platform is unabashedly demanding for this reason. And for the same reason, stands a high chance of victory. It is realistic in terms of the general framework of arbitration strategies.
I am demanding much more than legalisation. I want pot to be mandatory. Mandatory for everyone above the age of 18. Pot should be in the water and in the air that we breathe. It should be in the food we eat, and in the fuel which propels our vehicles and heats our homes. It should be in people’s underwear and socks, as a sturdy insulation against this horrible Canadian winter. Pot should be grown ornamentally around the UN Building in New York, as a statement of purpose and mission. It should be mandatory among all people serving in the military. Especially the one’s who prefer RUSH.
I see a day when we will be writing on pot paper and wearing pot shirts.
I see a day when a man or woman will not be judged by the colour of their skin, the ethos of their creed, the content of their character, but by the quality of Cush which they provide at social gatherings. I see a day when there will be a pot leaf on every mirror, and on every bumper sticker. I see a day when hemp diapers will be saving the planet from disposable brands. Tragic deaths of dogs and wildlife will be alleviated by 98 percent from disposable diaper ingestion. If we achieve only this, we will have a considerable victory. I envision a day when the Rastafarian will have the same social credibility as a colonel in the Salvation Army. I see a day when the hippie creed will enlighten the droll and colourless into broad vistas of transcendental joy. I shall greet the day when boy scouts will reforest clear-cut swaths of our blessed wilderness with multitudes of Indicas and Sativas and that ever-evasive Cush. I see a day when parliament will be opened in the name of her royal majesty and proceed with the lighting of the bong. And will continue with debates on the meaning of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Capital hill in America will be awash in the delicious treats of Krispy Kreme. People will greet each other with a knowing nod, and “hooking up” will be the standard of social conciousness.
At this point, I believe, the opposition should be invited to partake. Here they will be riveted into a logical quandary. Either admit they do not know what they are talking about, or smoke up and join the party. Nevertheless they will be sufficiently disarmed and glowing with respect for the approach. “That’s what we want to hear”, they will say, and nod and smile. “It is good to discuss these things with a man of capability and understanding. “There is strength and dedication in your ranks”, “and we respect you as warriors”.” Live and let live”, they will say. “The smokers of the herb are focused and full of joy, and their celebration of consciousness has enlivened our multitudes, surely we shall rock on”….
In order to achieve all this, I need cash. Lots and lots of chash. As much as Guy Caballero could ever want or need. Lobbying is expensive. Booze and Prostitutes are eminently expensive. And plying the will of the political elite has never been a cheap proposition. It is a monumental undertaking and will require mountains of money. Your contributions will be tax deductible after the legislation has been changed. And all surpluses will be cheerfully refunded, in product.
Demand pot to be mandatory, and settle for legalisation.
This bill sounds all bad – it will or could (hopefully not) take harm-reducing vaporisers away from our shelves! I sure hope Nikki Kaye (my local MP) doesn’t vote for it, or at least can argue my point below against some of the clauses.
Here is a quote:
Extending drug paraphernalia
Section 22(1A) of the Act (“headed: Powers of Minister to prohibit importation, etc, of controlled drugs”) provides that the Minister may from time to time, by notice in the Gazette, prohibit the import or supply of any class of pipe or other utensil, not being a needle or syringe, that may be used for administering any controlled drug or in the preparation of any controlled drug to be administered, either absolutely or subject to such conditions as the Minister thinks fit.
Control of the importation and supply of drug utensils
“The provisions for prohibiting the importation and supply of utensils used for the purpose of administering controlled drugs will be expanded to make it an offence to possess utensils for the purpose of sale or supply and prohibit the importation of incomplete utensils that, for example, require only the addition of a metal cone for burning cannabis to become usable. This will allow Police and Customs to more effectively enforce the utensils provisions and minimise the visibility and availability of drug paraphernalia”.
They really badly need to make an exception for medical vaporisers! These devices allow a carcinogen-free delivery of the medicine to the patient, and banning them will create needless additional harm for no reason – an unintended side effect. A vaporiser works to reduce harm to the user by reducing the heat from around 400c for combustion down to where THC to boils at around 180c. Cancer causing free radicals are formed above 200c, thus the device is helpful. Or maybe the politicians want us to get ill, for example by making a pipe from an aluminium can etc.
Our suggestion for an improvement:
Insert an exemption for vaporisers… or an exemption for all marijuana utensils… or better still just remove paraphernalia clauses altogether!!