Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

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  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the police stand to reap quite a sum of money from the nationwide franchise. Beyond reasonable doubt might not work for the criminal charges, but a balance of probabilities threshold will allow the police to pillage land, plant, equipment, homes and bank accounts. Welcome to a new form of revenue plundering that makes speed cameras look good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I hadn't thought of that, Zippy. But I do know that in US, proceeds of crime seizures -- whether subsequent to actual prosecutions or not -- have been conducted in frighteningly arbitrary ways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    I wonder what was happening two years ago that prompted the start of the undercover work? (This is not a rhetorical question).

    Orcland • Since Dec 2007 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Julie, the report into the expansion of criminal recovery began in March 2007. By July 2008, about two years ago, it was clear what was to become law. A year ago, the law was enacted. And here we are.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It would also be interesting to know why the police chose to bring home a two-year investigation this particular week.

    To be entirely cynical, I wonder if it is wholly coincidental that there's a budget due to be delivered in a couple of weeks. Jus' saying...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Has the recession had much impact on brewery profits? Just wondering.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    I find this whole thing really weird too. I mean c'mon! everyone knows what SOG was there for, and has been doing for years.

    If they were selling clones etc as claimed, then yes they are in trouble, but I wonder how much the police can be trusted around this in their need to build a watertight case.

    But it still strikes me as a massive waste of police resources - 2 years following this up undercover? don't they have better things to do ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    What it didn't do was stop people using cannabis.

    It may have stopped this guy, for a couple of hours.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3630029/Detective-stunned-by-mans-P-confession

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'd be surprised if it were common.

    I wouldn't. I can hardly imagine an environment more likely to lead staff to the idea of dealing on the side. The few times I've been in there, and talked in euphemisms about various things, the staff seem to only have played along because they thought I felt uncomfortable being open about the purpose of the equipment. I've never actually bought hydro equipment, it was always a matter of curiosity, to see just how blatant the whole thing was. I'd be talking about growing tomatoes and so on, and they'd be smiling and tapping their noses etc, while we inspected some piece of equipment clearly designed to be hidden in a cupboard. We'd then move to the other part of the shop which was full of a vast array of devices by which to smoke our "legal herbs". Eventually I'd buy a novelty pipe to compensate them for their time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • James Coe,

    Hey, but don't worry guys - the government looks set to almost completely ignore the recommendations of the Law Commission report on alcohol. According to JK, "there is literally [??] no appetite for is [sic, NZH] to increase excise taxes".

    Good to see a drugs approach consistent with actual harms.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Good to see a drugs approach consistent with actual harms.

    As demonstrated nicely in this post from Danyl McLauchlan.

    (Which I've already posted in the old drug thread, I know, but hopefully that'll be gone shortly...)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But it still strikes me as a massive waste of police resources - 2 years following this up undercover? don't they have better things to do ?

    No worries. The cost goes into calculations for the Drug Harm Index. The more they spend, they more they can show they need to spend it. Sweet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    They'll still increase the drinking age to 20, because that's the only recommendation that looks good on paper but has the fewest electoral repercussions.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the police stand to reap quite a sum of money from the nationwide franchise.

    I would have thought that any money taken under that act would go into the consolidated fund, same as traffic fines.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the police stand to reap quite a sum of money from the nationwide franchise.

    My reading of the act is that the proceeds go the the Official Assignee, not the police (but I could be wrong).

    I suspect that the police motivation is that the SOG, like most cannabis smokers, represent an easy target - given the Proceeds of Crime Act. Oh, and a nice boost to the awesome Drug Harm Index, as Russell points out.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    They'll still increase the drinking age to 20, because that's the only recommendation that looks good on paper

    How does that look good on paper? One of the biggest problems with alcohol is that intoxicated people commit criminal acts. How will further criminalization of people who want to drink encourage responsibility?

    Clearly the people on the button have absolutely no idea what they're doing. No idea, none whatsoever, and everyone else is happy to pay all 126 of them $100,000+ a year to be the idiots they are and represent the empty values they represent. Muttering "it could be we worse"

    idea: remove the mystique.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    No worries. The cost goes into calculations for the Drug Harm Index. The more they spend, they more they can show they need to spend it. Sweet.

    And that "it" not only needs to be massively increased, but accompanied by even more draconian powers because (according to a nice gentleman on the news last night) this is proof of organised crime's tendrils expanding into... well, you can fill in the rest. the Pot-pocalypse is nigh! And anyone who says otherwise is a cop-hater and probably huffing P off a child whore's hoo-ha as we speak.

    How does that look good on paper if it looks half-assed on a computer monitor? One of the biggest problems with alcohol is that intoxicated people commit criminal acts. How does further criminalizing anyone ever increase encourage responsibility?

    It doesn't -- but a yoof hating moral panic is an easier headline than asking some hard questions about why the Police do such a shit job of enforcing the laws we actually have on the books. Sorry for sounding like a scratched CD here, but when I was at Uni everybody (inlcuding the cops) knew all the "student pubs" where the only ID you needed was a tight top and big tits.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Hey, but don't worry guys - the government looks set to almost completely ignore the recommendations of the Law Commission report on alcohol. According to JK, "there is literally [??] no appetite for is [sic, NZH] to increase excise taxes".

    With Doug McKay, our brand new shiny Chief Executive for Auckland Council (formerly Lion Nathan and most recent Executive chairman of Independant Liquor ) leading the way for this "brighter future", why would alcohol be a problem? We are about to embark on creating space for binge drinking.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I wouldn't. I can hardly imagine an environment more likely to lead staff to the idea of dealing on the side.

    But that's also the surest way of the boss losing his business and assets. Why cross the line when you can stay the right side and still turn a dollar?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Sorry for sounding like a scratched CD here, but when I was at Uni everybody (inlcuding the cops) knew all the "student pubs" where the only ID you needed was a tight top and big tits.

    You wouldn't be suggesting that the whole thing is just a pantomime Craig; )

    Why cross the line when you can stay the right side and still turn a dollar?

    beer is sold for 5 times the price it could be profitably sold at.

    “A can of beer or an RTD can be bought for one or two dollars in many retail outlets. This is less than we pay for bottled water,” Sir Geoffrey said.

    And almost the entire population is already over one line or another.

    "what's another line gonna hurt?" Sigmund Freud said.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    You wouldn't be suggesting that the whole thing is just a pantomime Craig; )

    This might sound rather odd coming from a recovering (and sober) alcoholic whose drugs of choice are caffeine and processed sugar, but I'd just like a healthy dose of fact-based "grow the fuck up" injected into the debate. Just because I can't handle my piss (and potheads bore me beyond endurance) doesn't mean nobody else can.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I'd just like a healthy dose of fact-based "grow the fuck up"

    You won't find much fact based "grow the fuck up" in either the general population nor the Government's approach to drugs in New Zealand in the foreseeable future. It's one of the least sober nations in Asia. Values passed from father to son. I don't think I'm too far out on leftfield to suggest that criminalizing the population can only breed further criminality. And that if one is looking to make a killing in NZ, the drug industry, legal or otherwise, is a surefire road to dollars. Is anyone here totally drug free? Enjoy that coffee.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    “A can of beer or an RTD can be bought for one or two dollars in many retail outlets. This is less than we pay for bottled water,” Sir Geoffrey said.

    I think that says more about the stupidity of the bottled water industry than it does about the alcohol industry.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    and processed sugar,

    O' c'mon Craig, live a little, try unprocessed, just once, you know you'll like it, just a little to start, and have you seen the cocoa, makes a lovely drink, you'll leave the sugar behind, wont need it.... ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I think that says more about the stupidity of the bottled water industry than it does about the alcohol industry.

    Are people buying it? If it sells, it sells. Isn't it again simply a necessary response to illegal drug use.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

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