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Open letter to Chris Finlayson our Attorney-General

Send the government a message yourself: c.finlayson@ministers.govt.nz or phone (04)817 6808

[UPDATE] After sending the initial letter to Chris on 3rd December and getting no reply, I decided to follow up and recapitulate exactly the information I was after

  • Do you intend to inform parliament that the cannabis inclusion in the MODA contravenes the NZBORA in multiple manners?
  • If not, then why not please?
  • If this country truly is a representative democracy, not a democratic dictatorship as it currently seems to be (with the use of urgency to pass laws etc), shouldn’t the fact that public opinion is obviously in favour of whole-plant product medical marijuana be of some significance?
  • Should these new facts and public opinions be enough now to cross the threshold for you to do something in your official capacity and inform parliament of the conflict?
  • The united nations has put NZ on notice for our ridiculous search and seizure laws in two periodic reports.
  • This is a safe non-toxic dried flower bud that grows naturally and has evolved alongside humankind for many millennia: god made weed, man made alcohol, who do you trust?

Dear Chris,

I thought I had better flick you an email as I was reading over some legal criticisms of The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and noticed that since the Act is not higher law and does not “override” other laws, the Courts must interpret other laws consistently with the Bill of Rights Act if at all possible. All bills are assessed for consistency with BORA before they are introduced into Parliament, and yet we see Cannabis Sativa introduced into the schedules of the Misuse of Drugs Act back in 1975 before we knew of it’s medicinal values and before NZ had any constitutionally guaranteed rights, without any debate in parliament and absolutely no public consultation whatsoever!

Now I understand that in our democracy, there is a good faith understanding that where there is an inconsistency in a bill, the Attorney-General must inform Parliament. While this does not prevent Parliament passing inconsistent laws, it does ensure that any issues are fully debated with respect to their impact on our nearly non-existent human rights!

I demand that you immediately inform parliament in your capacity as Attorney-General so that it* can be debated with urgency, and pressure placed upon all of parliament not just the ministry of health. We have some of the highest incarceration rates in the world and if you include home detention and community detention then we are number 1 in the English speaking world (see my infographic that plots all forms of incarceration over time), and three studies have proven that cannabis prohibition is used against the Maori to persecute them beyond what is reasonable.

It is my view that due to the fact that:

  • 34% of kiwis have tried it that’s 1.5 million people [3] and according to Horizon Research poll 540,000 kiwi’s try pot once a year or more [4]
  • When Kelly van Gaalen was incarcerated, I counted 58 unique website domains with articles! Wake up yeah? [5]
  • It’s not bullshit this medical quality in cannabis, but you need to update one Peter Dunne about The Entourage effect. It’s real, Google it, the people need whole product cannabis see [6]
  • Kiwi’s love a good bit of green and it fits with our culture

I currently have lodged an appeal in the High Court against a sentence of community detention that I recently acquired through a cannabis possession charge at my house that arose from an unwarranted search due to police smelling it. My home has been searched by police three times this year, once with a warrant, twice without, and yet never has a supply charge resulted.

This appeal is likely not a good use of High Court time but I am confident to be granted at least a call over hearing for this possession charge, based on the valid points I’ve raised in this letter being present in my appeal also.

* I’d appreciate you to ask parliament that Cannabis be removed from the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 since it is incompatible with Bill of Rights Act 1990 due to multiple breaches of at least 5 sections below, not to mention the Health Act 1956 and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.; the repeal of the Tohunga Suppression Act etc etc. and that work be done with urgency on developing a regulatory framework for the taxation of the industry. This would remove a lucrative source of income for gangs, and make it harder to children to access.

Relevant Sections of The Bill of Rights Act 1990

Section 21 Our right to privacy: such as the right to an expectation against unreasonable search and seizure while out and about but especially in the privacy in ones own home so long as it does not injure another person

Section 27 The right to justice: “Irrelevant to case” evidence such as general case law, scientific studies government reports, legislation and the outcomes of cases in other countries are unlikely to have been deemed admissible to show by defence to a judge alone trial, since the judge would be unable to consider our human rights (due to them being well non-existent)

Section 13 Our right to practice our own religions; such as Cantheism, a theology that considers cannabis sativa a holy sacrament

Section 9 Not to be subjected to cruel treatment: nobody seems to have any idea what our Corrections system is doing to innocent cannabis growers and dealers – these are nice people too – but we do have one of the highest suicide rates in the world in New Zealand.

Section 22 Liberty of the person being the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained: NZ Citizens have lost the right to a trial by a jury of our peers; for cannabis possession does not qualify for jury trial, yet this is the only way I can move to have my human rights considered?

[1] You must inform Parliament see http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/n/the-new-zealand-legal-system/bill-of-rights-act

[2] A peak of 18,000 citizens detained in 2010 according to corrections see: http://www.legalise.org.nz/infographic/

[3] https://norml.org.nz/2012/540000-current-marijuana-users/

[4] http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/203/540000-using-marijuana-in-past-year

[5] 58 websites carry stories on van Gaalen case: http://www.legalise.org.nz/public-interest/

[6] Learn about the science here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNz1GsjbqaE

Also I found evidence that you imbibe yourself, it seems fairly legit:

Evidence that Chris Finlayson uses marijuana. "I love the ganja"

Evidence that Chris Finlayson uses marijuana. “I love the ganja”