Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2003
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2003
Author: Duncan Eddy


I'D LIKE to congratulate Inspector Dave Campbell and Superintendent Nick
Perry for admitting that police have got better things to do than arresting
cannabis smokers ( ODT , 6.5.03). I look forward to the day when our police
can stop arresting cannabis users altogether.

During 2002, police recorded 21,034 cannabis offences. Over the same period,
the murder rate went up 31%, sex attacks were up 17% and robberies increased
11%. Given these figures, it's surprising that our police haven't asked for
at least a reclassification of cannabis. Enforcing cannabis prohibition is
costly, and a waste of time better spent pursuing serious criminals.

The smoke-out at the Dunedin police station was an attempt to draw the
police into the cannabis law reform debate. English and Scottish police have
publicly declared their desire to stop arresting cannabis users so they
focus on real crime. Hopefully, New Zealand's police will soon follow suit.

Duncan Eddy

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