Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: P is for Politics.

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Turn on and tune in or turn in and tune out?

    "drugs switch you off". Comedian Paolo Rossi pointed out I thought rather cogently that they switch you on first...

    Now there's a solution - a Switch Hunt!

    and wasn't Trigger a Horse?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4688 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Are search warrants still required in New Zealand?

    This Misuse of Drugs Act gives police wide powers of search when the presence of drugs is susoected. So in this case, probably not.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    The events detailed in that article are shocking from every angle. I doubt very much that this the original intention of the misuse of drugs act was to enable police to ambush people in their homes while letting flagged psychiatric patients run free.

    There's absolutely no indication of any sincerity in the adage "Safer communities together Kaupapa whai oranga mo te iti me te rahi"

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    florist slappers...

    So that's what a Mayor does.
    Makes everything look pretty

    that sort of thing won't happen in Christchurch
    – we own a flower show!
    ...oh, hang on...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4688 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    @ Tom Semmens - To be fair, anybody who uses a firearm on Police (and dog) is a wannabe homicidal maniac first and foremost, and a pot dealer/grower a distant second. I don’t think either incident (including Napier) counts as “the cost so far of busting small-time pot growers” ... the criminal concerned, in each case, was clearly a far more dangerous animal, and I’d say the pot growing aspect of their lives was merely peripheral to a far more lethal mindset. Sooner or later *somebody* was gonna get it. But more generally, I do take your point.

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @ Tom Semmens - To be fair, anybody who uses a firearm on Police (and dog) is a wannabe homicidal maniac first and foremost, and a pot dealer/grower a distant second.

    I agree. They were looking for a missing psych patient. Smell of pot or not, it would have been perfectly standard for them to have knocked on the neighbour's door.

    Nobody had to shoot them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    So that's what a Mayor does. Makes everything look pretty

    Well, you know what enormous bills for "flowers" means, right?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Whatever the disease everyone here is trying to prevent, the cure is worse.

    I'm very much in favour of decriminalising pot, but I'm actually kind of relieved that the kind of people who shoot at police officers are off the street as an end result.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I’d say the pot growing aspect of their lives was merely peripheral to a far more lethal mindset.

    in the case of Molenaar, a cop going for his evening jog smelt pot from Molenaar's house, and this was the immediate catalyst for the routine raid that followed.

    In this case, the police were looking for someone else, got a whiff of pot and realised they had happily stumbled upon some serious dope growing whilst persuing their routine inquiries.

    The common thread here is the police don't seem to take pot raids seriously. If an officer in either case had spotted buckets marked "HCI" and got a strong chemical smell they would have backed off (I note one officer in Christchurch was shot escaping out a window, one presumes therefore he was inside the house) immediately and initiated the full blown AOS/decontamination bizzo.

    One would have thought that in the wake of the Napier siege police procedures would have changed, but clearly they have not. My guess is they haven't changed because to do a full scale call out and cautious entry for every whiff of pot they smell would be completely impractical, and simply serve to highlight the ubiquity of marijuana use in this country. The thing is though, five officers have been killed or wounded DURING "ROUTINE" POLICE RAIDS ON DOPE GROWING OPERATIONS.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So from my schooling here the mayoralty is actually bullshit, we are voting on a more soviet style grand comittee. The Mayor is just one vote.

    More powerful than that, with some executive powers no other Mayor in NZ has ever had - but yes, apply the same line of questioning to all the Councillors too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16496 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    Put it this way, I had my door kicked in by police in the early 90s, and my first instinct was not to pull a firearm and shoot at them ... it was to politely ask just who would be liable for damage to the door when they didn't find what they were looking for. But then I'm not a dangerous criminal. My second reaction was a sense of impending doom. Not violence. They didn't find what they thought they would, but nonetheless grilled me about a VCR which they identified as stolen via its serial number. How I grinned as I produced my Dominion TV Rentals VCR rental agreement ...

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    They didn't find what they thought they would, but nonetheless grilled me about a VCR which they identified as stolen via its serial number. How I grinned as I produced my Dominion TV Rentals VCR rental agreement ...

    Gold.

    I once had the police rummage around my flat in London -- and find a big box of syringes.

    They weren't really buying my explanation that my flatmates were the kind of crazy Kiwi couple who would holiday in parts of Africa where you really didn't want to rely on the cleanliness of the local syringes if you got sick.

    Fortunately, flatmate turned up and offered exactly that explanation. I think that and our joint indignation at being thought junkies convinced the plod that we were, in fact, telling the truth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    A woman I lived with once had the drug squad turn up at her door with a warrant. She demanded to see it, and they shamefaced had to go back to the car to find it. She then read it, and found that they only had permission to search the room inhabited by her boarder. Pays to pay attention to these things - if you just let them in and say 'go for it', you could end up with a hell of a mess to clean up, and trouble you needn't have faced if they find anything even remotely dodgy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    The thing is though, five officers have been killed or wounded DURING "ROUTINE" POLICE RAIDS ON DOPE GROWING OPERATIONS.

    And yet none have been hurt during raids on illegal alcohol breweries ...

    (heavy irony)

    It wasn't cannabis which caused that man in Chch to fire his weapon; but it was almost certainly due to the fact that he was involved in a highly serious criminal activity. One may conclude (given we've been told the cops could actually smell the stuff growing from outside) that it was a large (and therefore potentially commercial) operation.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for the wounded police officers and their dog, but change the f--king law and eliminate the need for a black market. Eliminate the need for this type of violent behaviour.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    Put it this way, I had my door kicked in by police in the early 90s

    Well, people who grow a little weed at home (medical users, personal users, 'social' growers - to use the Law Commission's phrase) may well soon be seeing their doors kicked in AND guns pointed at them if the following comes into being:

    "Police set to get easier access to guns"

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10658654&ref=rss

    Guns could be made more accessible to police amid concerns about the
    growing number of officers being "ambushed".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    A couple of questions that occur to me:

    Is it really possible for a warrant to be issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act if a passing off-duty cop (on an evening jog say) smells or detects the aroma of pot? I mean, if he goes to the powers-that-be the next day and tells his tale, is that one single factor sufficient for a search warrant to be issued?

    Second one - if a warrant is issued solely under the Misuse of Drugs Act, does that also enable a cop to (ahem) check for stolen property while they're at the premises?

    and a bonus question - what exactly is the "misuse" of drugs - is that like someone attempting to snort cannabis? (ok, as Sofie would say, coat, getting etc ...)

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Imagine if Prast had been caught. Jailing drug addicts seems extremely dumb especially after Denmark chopped its prisoner numbers by a whopping 65% with no corresponding rise in the crime rate: http://penal-system.suite101.com/article.cfm/denmarks_prison_system
    When it gets to the point that the Herald editorial is joining in the debate against Judith 'Hang em High" Collins plans to jail more and more kiwis then maybe we're getting somewhere towards sanity:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/government/news/article.cfm?c_id=49&objectid=10658577
    Can you imagine what jailing Simon Prast for P use would have achieved for society for example? Would he have come out a "better" citizen? When is a politician going to have the nouse to campaign against us having the 2nd highest prison population in the world per capita?
    It's a lot harder building programmes to rehabilitate people than it is to chuck them in prison so we're taking a lazy way out. Prison should be kept for serious and recalcitrant offenders so that we're not just further ruining young lives. Collin's $1.2 billion profit claim makes me feel ill.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen McIntyre,

    Is it really possible for a warrant to be issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act if a passing off-duty cop (on an evening jog say) smells or detects the aroma of pot? I mean, if he goes to the powers-that-be the next day and tells his tale, is that one single factor sufficient for a search warrant to be issued?

    As I understand the law - yes.

    The official 'reasons' given to the media by the Police for not raiding the Daktory was that they needed a) complaints of crimes being committed,

    or b) direct evidence of a crimes being committed, such as smelling cannabis as they passed by. ("clouds of smoke billowing out" or something like that was the phrase I seem to remember them being quoted as saying).

    Chris Fowlie was arrested by an officer claiming she could smell cannabis on him. He had a very small amount tightly sealed in a film cannister in his pocket. The case was thrown out in court, but she still had the power to invoke Section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (suspicion of drug offence being committed) to bust him.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The annoying thing about a smell used in the invoking of a search is that it's impossible to prove you don't have a smell. The range of ability is not quantified. A bloodhound could probably smell if you'd been in the same room as cannabis. I'm pretty sure I can smell if people have smoked it within a few hours after, even if they have changed clothes and showered in the interim. Some people think it affects the smell of your sweat, and I would not really be surprised if that is so. Hell, I can smell smoke on clothes that have been through the washing machine.

    When I last came back from Amsterdam I was thoroughly searched, and my bags were swabbed and the sample put into some machine. I had to laugh when they came back and told me the swabs showed strong traces of heroin and explosives. It was probably true, depending how sensitive a machine you used, my bags had sat on a hotel table in Amsterdam for over a week, and Christ only knows what kind of chemicals would set off an explosives test. I recalled that one of my moisturizer tubs had decompressed on the plane, and one of the chemicals in that was glycerin - that seemed to satisfy the officer doing the search. I only laughed because I knew they would find no heroin or explosives, and the two juxtaposed together into the one accusation seemed farcical. So I was both a drug smuggler and a terrorist? mmmkay.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    So I was both a drug smuggler and a terrorist?

    Sounds like they had you as one of those people who illegally download movies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    At LAX last time (on the way out), I got ordered to stand in the big perspex box that blows jets of compressed air at you, to see if there's any explosives residue on your clothes.

    I'd spent the last few days wandering downtown San Francisco. There could have been anything on me ...

    But no. The annoying part was how pointlessly wound up the security guards were. Even when they told me to shut my eyes to prevent any injury from the jets, it was like they were going to shoot me if I didn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Hollywood,

    not just a drug smuggler and terrorist but also someone armed with an extraordinary sense of smell ... I mean "smoked, showered, and changed clothes" and still there's no escape from the flared nostrils of the wicked Ben ... I'd wager the only thing holding you back from a lucrative career in the police is the frank admission that you moisturize. She's a hard road finding the perfect cop and no mistake!

    More seriously, as you say Ben, the whole smell/quantifiable thing seems like a real grey area and I imagine it results in more 'close calls' than it does arrests.

    Since May 2009 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    @Ben

    I'm just uncomfortable with condemning someone as unfit for public office for crimes committed by people like them. I basically hold a 'presumption of innocence' line about things like that.

    I take your point, perhaps I'm just reading more into what he's said of it (and also knowing some of the people who he smoked P with probably helps). The 'presumption of innocence' line works well in the sense that I don't think he should in any way be disqualified from standing, but remember he's the one campaigning, trying to convince us he deserves our vote, so really the onus to prove his character should be reversed, no?

    Having said that, it now seems like it's not going to be an issue. Based on what I've read above, there seem to be any number of good reasons not to vote for him.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1128 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    To use a recent example, Phil Goff's daughter didn't have Es tucked in her bra

    Hey, could become known as the "Booster" bra. :)

    @Sofie - well apparently it was only her first time trying E, so it should probably be known as a training bra...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1128 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But no. The annoying part was how pointlessly wound up the security guards were.

    Indeed -- and have a friend who travels a lot for business, and will quite happily pay the difference out of her own pocket to avoid passing through the United States after a remarkably unpleasant experience at LAX. The world is full of people who will choose to work (and play) in countries where they're not treated like shit by paranoid lunatics.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

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