I read that Police are hitting back at ‘trolls’ on social media who have written criticism at their continued ‘search & destroy’ operations against cannabis in Aotearoa/NZ.. 6000 plants were seized last year, in the ‘top of the south’ operations, inc. one operation that netted 900 plants in one hit. Estimates are that this is really just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in the overall scheme of things. BUT I read these comments, that to me seem, extremely shortsighted, zero-tolerance & prohibition only:
‘Police have seized and destroyed 900 cannabis plants from Nelson and Marlborough in this year’s drug operation – and some social media commentators have criticised the haul.’
‘Police have hit back at social media trolls who called the seizure of more than 900 cannabis plants a waste of time.’
‘Commentators were quick to criticise the operation, with the majority of the comments questioning the purpose of targeting cannabis.’
‘Community Constable (name removed) says social media backlash to a police seizure of cannabis is disappointing.’
“The public don’t seem to understand the connection between the cultivation of cannabis and these criminal fraternities and other class A drugs,” he said.
*pushing the discredited ‘gateway theory’.. that cannabis use always leads users to HARD DRUGS. Also that cannabis use is always harmful & ‘drug abuse’.
‘Tasman District Commander Superintendent (name removed) says cannabis remains an illegal substance and police will continue to enforce the law.’
“It is disappointing that people think we are wasting our time.”
‘Removing cannabis and grow operations hit crime rings where it hurt most, their finances,’
*only because it creates the illegal black-market, rather than allowing a legally regulated, adults only market, as in Holland, Portugal, Uruguay & several USA states etc. that NZ Police & current politicians totally refused to consider !!
“The public don’t see what we do. They don’t understand that there is a very strong connection between people who grow it commercially and the criminal world,” he said. *again, the prohibition only mentality
‘Of the 40 or so comments, (the Supt.) said he noticed only two were positive towards police and the cannabis seizure.’
*confirming that by far, a majority of kiwis no longer support this draconian; arrest/prosecute approach
‘The drug sting reported a 75 per cent drop in cannabis plant seizures following a police decision not to use helicopters.’
*Full-scale Drug War stuff
Followed by this shortsighted rhetoric:
“It’s an emotive topic for a lot of people, and it is public debate,” he said.
“But we’re not charged to comment on these issues, we’re here to enforce the law of the land.
“I know there is a lot of polarisation of feeling around cannabis in the political arena but there is a law which makes it illegal. And we certainly won’t step aside in enforcing the law.”
** Of course the one thing these Police spokespeople rarely mention.. there are many allegations that their senior hierarchy are amongst the biggest lobbyists to maintain the status quo (Job Protection) & will NOT consider any other approach to the huge drug issue in Aotearoa/NZ (amongst the highest cannabis use rate, per capita in the world, according to UN reports) 😦