Drug crackdown riles students
A group of Otago University students is 'outing' what they claim are undercover police on an anti-drug campaign on campus.
Posters showing photos, police numbers and names of plain-clothed officers have gone up around the university. But police say the students have got it wrong.
The posters have appeared online and around the university this week naming alleged undercover police and describing how to 'spot a nark'.
"Students are uncomfortable with being surveilled in their study space. It makes it hard for them to concentrate," says Norml leader Abe Gray.
"They're dressed as university students, and they're acting like university students, and we have reason to believe some of them are indeed enrolled in classes, posing as students," he says.
Cannabis Grower Denied Home Detention
Home detention was "inappropriate" for a man who had been growing cannabis to supplement his sickness benefit, a judge said today.
It was precisely the sort of offending Lawrence Frederick Williams had been committing from home, said Judge Christopher Harding in Tauranga District Court.
Williams, 43, was jailed for 12 months when he appeared for sentence on four charges - cultivating, possessing and supplying cannabis, and possessing methamphetamine.
He had converted a bedroom for growing cannabis, a drug he had been smoking for 20 years. The window of the purpose-made room was blocked to prevent neighbours from seeing the glow of the grow lamps.
The defendant was nabbed after police visited the house on an unrelated matter, smelt dope and found the drugs. There were 30 plants about eight weeks old and 338g of dried cannabis material.
"The NZ drug harm index claims Kiwis have a 1.3 billion dollar bill for illicit drugs. But is this right? Russell and his panel discuss."
(Comes in three parts)
Police criticise legal loophole:
A legal loophole which allows shops, including at least two in Dunedin, to sell drug paraphernalia is normalising drug use and undermining efforts to stop the abuse of drugs, police say.
Dunedin police area commander Inspector Dave Campbell said implements such as cannabis pipes, roach clips, bongs and pipes for smoking methamphetamine were easily available in shops, and would continue to be, unless the law was tightened.
Methcon drug education group director Mike Sabin said it was "absolute lunacy" people could walk into a shop and buy a utensil for smoking an illegal drug.
"It legitimises these drug implements like any other retail product.
"You can't walk into a shop and buy cannabis, so why should you be able to walk into a shop and buy something for smoking cannabis?"
New drug index to help police measure harm
Monday June 23, 2008
A new index developed by an economic consultancy will help police decide where drugs do most harm and enable them to target resources more efficiently.
The Drug Harm Index was developed by Business and Economic Research Limited as an assessment tool for social harm.
It measures the "harms" related to drug use, including lost work output, health service use, diverted resources and reduced quality or loss of life, and allows police to quantify seizures in terms of harm prevented instead of the street value of the drugs seized.
National Crime Manager Detective Superintendent Win van der Velde told the police Ten One magazine the index showed drug seizures in 2006 avoided $485 million of drug harm, and $3.67 billion between 2000 and 2006.
"This index holds the potential for police to become more targeted and responsive to areas of crime where greater harm occurs."
Today was a typical day, nothing particularly noteworthy happened.. I guess there wasn't any rope for the banner.
Attendance was good, there were at least 80 people and it endured hard, the crowd is still strong now as I write this. 30 or so people. A big improvement on last year.
Oh, and as always.. There were no arrests.