Pubdate: Sat, 09 Mar 2002
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2002
Author: Duncan Eddy


GREG O'CONNOR, of the Police Association, should reconsider his claim that 
a recent ruling in the Auckland District Court will not change the way 
police operate ( ODT , 18.2.02). Judge Gittos found that police were 
wrongly invoking the Misuse of Drugs Act when they searched Norml president 
Chris Fowlie last year on the grounds that they could smell cannabis. This 
ruling will have a major impact on the actions of police.

Many New Zealanders have experienced the indignity of a police search 
because police suspect they may be in possession of cannabis. However, 
searching an individual under a loose interpretation of the Misuse of Drugs 
Act is no longer acceptable. This is a victory for justice and should help 
to bridge the gap between the justice system and many disenfranchised New 
Zealanders, thus encouraging an overall greater social wellbeing.

Mr O'Connor, by the way, does not represent the actual New Zealand Police 
force, which has stated it will respect the decision.

Duncan Eddy

City Rise