Posts by Graeme Edgeler

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  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to BenWilson,

    If this was not against the law, they’d be out of jail sooner. The amount of time spent in jail for cannabis is a real thing, real people’s lives rotting in jail over something millions of NZers have done regularly.

    No. I'm saying that, for example someone gets two years imprisonment for burglary and one month for possession of class A, for a total sentence of two years and release after one year (because that's how concurrent sentences work). If class A drugs hadn't been found on them, the total sentence would be two years, with release after one year.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to Sacha,

    because those statistics are published?

    I have just OIAed the stats, but my confidence comes from knowing how criminal sentencing works. e.g. Police suspect someone is a burglar, and get a search warrant to search for stolen goods. In the course of the search they find some drugs (getting money for this may have been the reason for the burglary). They charge both. The person gets two years for burglary and one month for the possession charge, to be served simultaneously.

    Will happen with a bunch of offences. Drunken assault in a pub or street. Police arrest and conduct a search incident to arrest, find drug utensils etc. When you get to sentencing it all comes out in the wash. You can't sentence someone to community work if they're going to prison for something else, and it would be wrong to fine them (just setting them up to fail when they're released), so they get short sentence for the minor offending.

    I'm not saying that this is every case. But I do think it will be a lot of them. And hopefully we'll know in 20 working days or so.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Mallard just pulled his “no one is ever jailed for pot possession” out of his ass – and carried on even after he was shown evidence of how wrong he is.

    You need to contrast between those sent to prison for drug possession alone, and those sent to prison for burglary and drug possession or receiving stolen goods and drug possession. None of the statistics quoted make this distinction. I am confident that many (I suspect most, and perhaps not far short of all) people given a prison sentence for simple possession are serving that prison sentence simultaneously with a prison sentence for some other, more serious, offence.

    There will be some who have served a prison term because, for example, of failure to comply with a community sentence given for drug possession, but people sentenced to prison for drug possession and nothing more will be very few.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But that $500k fine only applies to a body corporate, not an individual.

    Well, for individuals, the maximum fine is the same then. $10,000. But vastly different for bodies corporate.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Illegal Highs, in reply to Russell Brown,

    By comparison, the penalties relating to cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act are much more severe: three months jail for possession and eight years for supply or even growing plants.

    And soon to be ten years for possession of a book about growing the plants (or 14 years if you ordered it from Amazon).

    I would note that the maximum fine for drug dealing/growing/etc. offences is substantially lower than that applying to other psychoactives covered by this regime.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs,

    The New South Wales legislature has gone another way, passing a law that bans all psychoactive substances, including those yet unknown...

    But, but ... Peter Dunne says that's impossible :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: All of these things are…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not surprisingly, ACT doesn't want to increase penalties for financial, passport or electoral fraud.

    Here is then-MP John Boscawen calling for strengthening financial fraud laws (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10562751)

    Here is ACT voting in favour of increased penalties for Passport Fraud (http://www.knowledge-basket.co.nz/search/doc_view.php?d1=han/text/2002/06/11_118.html)

    And Here is ACT supporting legislation to increase transparency of election financing at local elections (http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20130625_00000016/local-electoral-amendment-bill-no-2-%E2%80%94-third-reading)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: All of these things are…, in reply to Nick Kearney,

    But if they had been done on three occasions by the same offender, who on each occasion had been convicted, then yes, they would have something in common with the policy.

    ACT's three strikes for burglary policy does not work as you describe. The first two strikes do not have to have occurred on separate occasions.

    And my point is not that these offences are likely to have been committed by the same person. I accept that this has not and almost certainly will not happen. These are not given as example of minor burglaries: one of the examples could be charged as attempted rape! Rather, they are given as examples of the breadth of burglary as an offence.

    The ACT Party voted in favour of amending the law of burglary so that all of these things count as burglary. Why?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    So John Key and National are ‘masking’ their donations by using restaurants and other events, where participants are making donations or paying over the top for services.

    Its seems a clear strategy to get around the election donor law

    Not even close. The way it was structured increased transparency.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Fair enough. And they could say "given the margin of error, at 4.9% in our poll, New Zealand First effectively has a 50-50 chance of getting back into Parliament".

    I have it at 46% :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

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