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networkn
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  #2576804 30-Sep-2020 21:31
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dejadeadnz:

 

networkn:

 

Sigh.

 

 

You can sigh as much as you like -- you were the one changing the goalposts. The other problem that you miss is the differences between police districts in terms of culture and mentality.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for giving me permission! You missed the point. No, I didn't miss the difference between police districts either.

 

The point being, very few police officers would randomly stop a person and search them so they could get a cannabis possession bust. They don't (generally) care about possession as a sole crime.

 

 


Rikkitic
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  #2576809 30-Sep-2020 21:45
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dejadeadnz:

 

Sorry but you are, as is the norm for people on GZ making legal assertions, manifestly wrong with regards to your statement above.

 

 

I stand corrected, then. My comment was in response to @networkn's assertion, which I still think betrays a large portion of ignorant arrogance.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


dejadeadnz
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  #2576810 30-Sep-2020 21:54
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networkn:

 

Thank you for giving me permission! You missed the point. No, I didn't miss the difference between police districts either.

 

 

You have no particular expertise in the criminal justice system; the only observable evidence that you've provided is an anecdote from one cop. You have been given objective MoJ statistics which, whilst not absolutely comprehensive on their own, at least should cause a reasonable person to question whether you should be holding to your view as strongly as you continue to.

 

But despite all this background, you just insist that you know the system, the cops, and everything remarkably well. And of course no one should remotely believe that you'd be genuinely aware of and insightful towards the differences in practices between police districts given what you have provided so far. What applied experience or even anecdotal evidence do you have that supports your assertion?

 

Facts and evidence can be annoying -- they have a way of making people who shout the loudest look silly. Shouting over and over (surprised that you haven't gone for caps yet, as is your wont) doesn't make you right.

 

 


networkn
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  #2576815 30-Sep-2020 22:16
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You are right, now *you* have spoken, no other opinions are valid, nor wanted, so we should close the thread.

 

You'd be having a laugh, accusing others of being shouty.

 

This is obviously only anecdotal (and from circa 10 - 11 years ago) but having been on all three sides of the legal fence (working for judges, defence and prosecution) I don't recall many cases where someone got a possession-only charge by itself.

 

You seem to have missed the point that we are actually agreeing.

 

 


dejadeadnz
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  #2576862 30-Sep-2020 22:31
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Networkn, here's the difference: I actually re-looked at my original opinion in light of the MoJ statistics and it's caused me (and remember the starting point of my opinion was a much wider exposure to the criminal justice system and degree of professional expertise that you don't have) to become concerned about whether what I saw was that representative. This is actually me openly and transparently practicing what I preach, i.e. evaluating one's views based on evidence. You're just seizing on empirical observations and latching onto whatever conclusion that makes you feel better and refusing to change your mind

 

That's really quite irresponsible.

 

 


Handle9

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  #2576890 1-Oct-2020 00:30
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networkn:

 

Handle9:

 

18 year old boys/men are morons (I certainly was) who make stupid decisions (I certainly did) that probably shouldn't affect them for the rest of their lives unless they really do have a serious effect on others.

 

 

I am inclined to agree that these types of mistakes shouldn't follow you the rest of your life, people make mistakes. I wonder though, do you think the same thing could/would happen in 2020?

 

 

I absolutely think it's happening in 2020. In my experince some police officers (as you would expect from any large group) are a-holes and actively look for an opportunity to show how tough they are, especially if they are confronted with someone who fits their profile of a "bad person." 

 

If police say that possession is largely irrelevant and they aren't trying to charge people with possession then the number of charges should have dropped massively since 2017. They haven't. Interestingly the biggest drop was from 2010/11 to 2011/12. 

 

In an ideal world no one would drink, no one would smoke, no one would do drugs, no one would speed, no one would rip each other off. We don't live in that world so how do you make the best of what is real, not ideal? In my opinion what we currently have is a mess and hasn't, won't and can't work.


Fred99
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  #2576936 1-Oct-2020 08:32
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The "War on Drugs" has been an abysmal failure - drug (ab)use has increased in every western nation since the '70s.

 

Your children are far more likely to become addicts or suffer harm from hard drugs now than they were before the US started the war they've been consistently losing.

 

Vote "no" and you're voting to continue with policies that cause immense harm.


 
 
 
 


Blurtie
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  #2577002 1-Oct-2020 09:06
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So the data we're talking about is all there in the MoJ link - table 6.

 

For 2019/2020 period - 230 were convicted of cannabis possession and/or use only, while 1546 were convicted of possession and/or use with other offences. 

 

5 people were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for cannabis possession and/or use only, 320 were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for possession and/or use with other offences. 

 

I'm surprised and shocked that we're sending people to prison for possession/use only. Obviously it's just data and we don't have the context behind the sentencing.. But if those 5 have just been sent to jail because they've had multiple convictions for cannabis use - then surely it's better to treat it as a health issue rather as a criminal one...


arcon
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  #2577029 1-Oct-2020 10:03
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Blurtie:

 

I'm surprised and shocked that we're sending people to prison for possession/use only. Obviously it's just data and we don't have the context behind the sentencing.. But if those 5 have just been sent to jail because they've had multiple convictions for cannabis use - then surely it's better to treat it as a health issue rather as a criminal one...

 

 

You said it yourself - we don't have the context, and in the absence of that its best to use logic. Many of these could be scenarios where they didn't have sufficient evidence to prove distribution but were 99.9% certain that was the case, or evidence of growing was destroyed, so they could only be nailed on use. In that context if it was getting distributed to minors treating it like a health issue for the dealers looks a bit off.


Rikkitic
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  #2577042 1-Oct-2020 10:34
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arcon:

 

You said it yourself - we don't have the context, and in the absence of that its best to use logic. Many of these could be scenarios where they didn't have sufficient evidence to prove distribution but were 99.9% certain that was the case, or evidence of growing was destroyed, so they could only be nailed on use. In that context if it was getting distributed to minors treating it like a health issue for the dealers looks a bit off.

 

 

This is precisely the kind of thinking that is dangerous and leads to abuse by police. Their job is to enforce the law, not interpret it. Using possession as an excuse to jail someone because you think they might be doing something you can't prove is the same logic as planting evidence on a bad guy because you can't catch him in the act. '99.9% certain' isn't enough. I sure hope you are not a cop.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


dejadeadnz
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  #2577046 1-Oct-2020 10:39
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arcon:

 

You said it yourself - we don't have the context, and in the absence of that its best to use logic. Many of these could be scenarios where they didn't have sufficient evidence to prove distribution but were 99.9% certain that was the case, or evidence of growing was destroyed, so they could only be nailed on use. In that context if it was getting distributed to minors treating it like a health issue for the dealers looks a bit off.

 

 

Your hypothesis doesn't sound plausible to me. Distribution charges essentially require two elements: (1) physical possession of a large enough quantity of of drugs (easy to prove one way or another) and (2) an intention on the part of the possessor to make the drug available to others, whether for profit or otherwise. Also, once you possess over a certain amount of drugs, under the law the defendant is presumed to be possessing for the purpose of supplying, i.e. the burden of proof is reversed. Your little drug possessor who's likely not eligible for legal aid typically isn't in great position to fight a charge and having been a prosecutor myself I don't for one moment believe that in marginal cases some cops/prosecutors wouldn't go for the possession for supply charge just to squeeze a defendant.

 

The preponderance of evidence is absolutely pointing to a sizable number of cases where cops have arrested people merely for possessing.

 

 


dejadeadnz
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  #2577048 1-Oct-2020 10:46
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Rikkitic:

 

This is precisely the kind of thinking that is dangerous and leads to abuse by police. Their job is to enforce the law, not interpret it. Using possession as an excuse to jail someone because you think they might be doing something you can't prove is the same logic as planting evidence on a bad guy because you can't catch him in the act. '99.9% certain' isn't enough. I sure hope you are not a cop.

 

 

You are again confusing the issues. The justice system doesn't entertain what's inside the minds/heads of the cops by and large. If they can prove a possession charge and the evidence to prove such a charge is legitimately obtained, they are perfectly empowered to pursue that charge -- they may have other motivations going inside their head but so long as the evidence for the actual charge is genuine, this is legitimate as has already been explained to you. Whether it's good use of court time or good social policy, it's another matter. It can in no way, shape or form be compared with planting evidence/perverting the course of justice.

 

Stick with facts, people -- not idle speculation, manufactured outrage, or unsound comparisons. And given the way the polls are going, the proponent of legalisation looks to have made an amateur hour "All or nothing!" political mistake: there should have been an alternate option for decriminalisation only.


Sidestep
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  #2577054 1-Oct-2020 10:55
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Handle9:

 

18 year old boys/men are morons (I certainly was) who make stupid decisions (I certainly did) that probably shouldn't affect them for the rest of their lives unless they really do have a serious effect on others.

 

 

I was one of those morons, and have a cannabis conviction from my teenage years - in the mid-80's.
The whole thing's kind of seared into my mind – and is probably how many cannabis charges across NZ played out in those days..

We'd driven to Auckland for a music festival – the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior fundraiser  – and were heading home. In those days there wasn't much to the Northern Motorway, and as we drove through the Albany town centre a police car pulled out and followed us North towards Orewa.

Pretty sure that driving a 20 year old Valiant with a peace symbol painted on the boot, six dreadlocked and (all but me) Maori passengers inside made us some sort of target, I turned off the music, told the boys (who all turned around for a look) and started driving extra carefully.

The two (not much older than us) cops did pull us over, checked my license, wof and rego – and asked us questions - where we'd been, where we were going etc. Having no weed (or anything else illegal) left, a couple of the boys were a little cocky - joking about their 'flash car' and saying things like Bro, you're not going to BUST us are you?

 

Yes they were... apparently as some type of on-the-job training. 

Another – unmarked – car pulled up, driven by a Detective Sergeant, who announced he would search us, having reasonable grounds to believe we were in possession of controlled drugs. They spent a long time going through our bags and clothing, while traffic slowed and people gawked - which was more annoying than anything.. but then I noticed they'd tipped out the car's ash trays on the boot and were sorting though what was in them.

Sure enough they'd found roaches (cannabis cigarette butts) left by some of the – probably dozens of – people who'd smoked joints in the car that week. One of them also found a glass pipe under the front seat - that none of us had ever seen before.

 

I was taken back South to the police station, held in the cells, charged with possession of cannabis and instruments to smoke it, and released maybe 3 or 4 hours later - my friends had driven my car down and were waiting outside for me.

 

I had the court case transferred up North, applied for Legal Aid, and wrote a 2 page spiel that I planned to read to the judge about how I thought we were unfairly targeted and searched (did I mention I was young and naive?)

The Legal Aid lady was overwhelmed and by court day I still hadn't spoken with her. My case was mid morning, the waiting room packed, and maybe 15 minutes before it was called she came over to talk with me. I nervously said I was going to plead 'Not Guilty'.. she looked at me, at her notes, and said "you haven't got a chance, - plead guilty - you'll get a fine"

 

So I plead Guilty - and got a fine. I also got a criminal record that haunted me for years.

I've been honest about the conviction when asked, even though I had it 'Clean slated' years later, and because of it was turned down for jobs in various parts of the world. There were big Immigration lawyer's bills attached to me getting visas for residence/work in the US and Canada. It even affected my Canadian Citizenship application years later as they specifically ask about convictions 'even if pardoned or expunged' - though in the end the officer made a decision in my favour - saying 'It's not as if you murdered someone'

 

So my vote would be for legalisation, and though the polls make that look unlikely now, I hope it will be at least decriminalised.
The effects of a criminal conviction vastly outweigh the harm caused by using the stuff.

 

I find it amazing that my wife (who works in the industry here in Canada) can now sell hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of it weekly - and receive acclaim for her sales acumen, while I get accolades for the (admittedly nice) plants I've grown in our garden this year. Nothing's changed but the law.

There appears to be no breakdown of society happening, no sudden moral decay apparent. In fact it seems that legalisation, control and regulation of cannabis production and distribution have had mostly positive effects over here. I think it would be the same in New Zealand.

 

whoops - I've written a novel. /rant.


Blurtie
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  #2577060 1-Oct-2020 10:59
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arcon:

 

Blurtie:

 

I'm surprised and shocked that we're sending people to prison for possession/use only. Obviously it's just data and we don't have the context behind the sentencing.. But if those 5 have just been sent to jail because they've had multiple convictions for cannabis use - then surely it's better to treat it as a health issue rather as a criminal one...

 

 

You said it yourself - we don't have the context, and in the absence of that its best to use logic. Many of these could be scenarios where they didn't have sufficient evidence to prove distribution but were 99.9% certain that was the case, or evidence of growing was destroyed, so they could only be nailed on use. In that context if it was getting distributed to minors treating it like a health issue for the dealers looks a bit off.

 

 

Sure, that's one scenario/context to explain it.. But the pessimist in me can't help but think that another scenario would just as likely include a repeat offender for possession/use, maybe had his first conviction when he was a young 18 year old that made a stupid decision and didn't bother getting legal advice (as highlighted by a previous poster), pleaded guilty just to make it all go away.. then repeatedly gets picked up by police/justice system as he's still a user and continues to get convicted - rinse/repeat until finally a judge has had enough and hands down a prison sentence... In this context, I would say it's a health issue. 

 

 


Rikkitic
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  #2577107 1-Oct-2020 11:14
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dejadeadnz:

 

You are again confusing the issues. The justice system doesn't entertain what's inside the minds/heads of the cops by and large. If they can prove a possession charge and the evidence to prove such a charge is legitimately obtained, they are perfectly empowered to pursue that charge -- they may have other motivations going inside their head but so long as the evidence for the actual charge is genuine, this is legitimate as has already been explained to you. Whether it's good use of court time or good social policy, it's another matter. It can in no way, shape or form be compared with planting evidence/perverting the course of justice.

 

 

I am not questioning the legitimacy. I am questioning the morality. To my mind, using a minor charge to get someone for one thing because you can't get him for something else that you think he might be guilty of, is perverting the course of justice.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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