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May 4, 2014 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Illegal highs reaching new lows

Police have denied accusations they are ignoring low-level cannabis use, but official figures suggest otherwise.

Statistics released by Police show that there was a 22.7 per cent drop in illicit drug offences in 2013. Police said most of this reduction was in cannabis cultivation and possession.

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne has attributed the decrease to a generally blasé view adopted by the Police regarding violations of cannabis laws.

“Most of the Police people I talk to say essentially that they take a pretty light view of cannabis… I am saying that’s the reality.”

A Police spokesperson confirmed that their focus was now on organised-crime groups that dominate New Zealand’s drug trade. Despite this, any claims that they have begun to turn a blind eye to cannabis use have been firmly debunked by Police officials.

“There has been no change in policy regarding low-end cannabis possession. Rather, the focus of our drug efforts are aimed at the importers, dealers and manufacturers of drugs as highlighted in this release.”

An increased focus of drug-enforcement efforts on the importers, dealers, and manufacturers of drugs has seen a 59 per cent increase in offences in this category.

Minister of Police Anne Tolley said she is “confident that Police enforce the law and prosecute where appropriate.”

New Zealand currently is currently ranked as having the ninth-highest rate of cannabis consumption in the world.

While Police are focussing on the root of New Zealand’s marijuana consumption, it seems that the country’s stoners are blazing on.



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