frontlines brief

I see the following news items, in brief:

1) recent cannabis arrest stats, in Aotearoa/NZ show that the numbers are apparently dropping, mainly because police are reportedly ‘using discretion’ & even turning a blind eye to ‘minor offences’.. BUT I read that the disproportionate percentage of arrests amongst indigenous maori, is still at the same high levels. Maori make up about 15% of the general population, but about 50% of prison inmates. There have always been reports that they get targeted & suffering harsher sentencing; more likely to face jail, than other racial groups ?

2) with the upcoming NZ by-election, in Mt. Roskill (Akld) electorate, recently vacated by a Labour MP (appointed as new mayor of the biggest city). I read that the ‘Cannabis party’ are standing a candidate & he is calling on all other candidates (esp. the ‘major’ parties) to declare their hands on the current cannabis laws & whether they support any potential reforms. (Spec. further access to Medicinal uses)

3) I saw a brief news item on Al Jazeera news; in Lebanon, it seems the ‘illegal cannabis trade’ is massively exploding (making Hashish) as frontline police move their focus & resources to protecting the borders & other greater priorities. They showed a few masked people ‘shoveling’ large piles of the dried plant material into a grinder machine. The fine granules falling out, were then piled up, ready to be taken away & packaged for sale.. locally or on the Int’l black-market !

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