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NZers rally for a stop to cannabis arrests

This just in (takes a while in this office) from the Rose Renton files. .

We, New Zealanders who understand cannabis as a beneficial, safe medicinal plant, are holding a National Rally outside 26 police stations this Saturday, 17 Sept.

Our rallies are peaceful, requesting an immediate stop to all cannabis arrests.

We ask the NZ Government to subsequently change the law to protect our people.

Cannabis is a medicine used by many, not just in smoking form but also in edibles, tinctures, balms and oils. It is a lifeline for many people facing critical health issues.

Increasing awareness of cannabis as medicine has resulted in 80% of New Zealanders supporting a change to current cannabis laws, according to recent polls. The majority of New Zealanders also now support cannabis being legalised or decriminalised for all people.

We are requesting the support of the NZ Police in our rally. Police are underresourced and understaffed. By removing cannabis arrests from their workload, hundreds of millions of dollars would be saved every year, and time would be freed up for police to address serious crime and more dangerous drugs.

The rallies are planned for Saturday, 17 September, 4-5pm. A full list of rally locations is available on the ‘National Stop the Arrests’ page on Facebook, which has a strong following of supporters.

Not all of us use cannabis, but we are united in our desire for a more just and compassionate law. A non-cannabis user is organising Christchurch’s rally; Tania Jordan wishes to see greater access to natural cannabis medicines for pain relief in elderly and chronic health patients.

Brian Borland from Whangarei began planning the initial rally in his town, and I joined Brian in support of the cause. Since then, people all over New Zealand have added their own events.