Tuesday, June 28, 2011

4:20 News: Free Dakta Green Special

Tomorrow morning, Dakta Green will be sentenced by Judge Gittos at Auckland District Court on three convictions handed down by a jury on Friday 13th May. All three charges related to The Daktory, New Zealand's first and only cannabis clubrooms. Those charges are selling cannabis, possession for sale and allowing a premises to be used for the consumption of cannabis.

The sentencing comes a week after entertainer Rick Bryant was sentenced to two years in jail on drugs charges, a fate worse than what rugbyhead rapists get for punishment. Around the same time as Bryant's sentencing up in Auckland, a week after this lengthy article in the Timaru Herald, Peter Davy was meant to be sentenced at Timaru District Court. The best I've heard says Peter Davy's sentencing has been put off until July, the third (or is it fourth?) postponement so far.

Down in Dunedin, 72 year old Maurice Didham has had his sentencing on cannabis charges postponed until August. High Court Judge Geoffrey Venning is waiting to see how the police's courageous yield calculations stack up to professional scrutiny.

Bill English has admitted that prisons are a moral and fiscal failure. The Law Commission report on drugs quoted surveys showing only 8 percent of cannabis users stopped because of its illegal status. There's even talk of New Zealand beginning to sift users from abusers through drug courts.

So anything could happen tomorrow at the sentencing of 61 year old Dakta Green. While we wait for that wave to collapse, let's see what other landmarks litter the current drug war debate.

International support for a new drug policy is growing deafening. A brains trust calling itself the Global Commission (it includes luminaries such as George Schultz) has called for legalisation. Another bunch of Names sent a letter calling for an end to the war on drugs. A report commissioned by thinktank Demos comes to much the same conclusion.

There's even talk of digging up the remains of William Shakespeare to see if he really smoked cannabis. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust supports the plan. If it takes the greatest writer in English literature to get dug up to prove he smoked dope just so the incontrovertible truth will stare the whiskey-clutchers and gin trappists in their bloodshot eyes and admit they've been staring at the drug issue through beer goggles for the last 40 years, so be it.

Praise Shakespeare. Bury the drug war. Free Dakta Green.