Pubdate: Sat, 27 May 2000
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2000 New Zealand Herald
Contact:  PO Box 32, Auckland, New Zealand
Fax: (09) 373-6421
Cited: NORML NZ:


Hundreds of Auckland University students lined up for a spot of
cannabis yesterday in a show of civil disobedience to support law reform.

Smoke wafted through the university quad from cookers set up by a
students' group which is lobbying for the legalisation of cannabis.

Members of the 500-strong group, the Auckland University of New
Zealand National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, lined
up to inhale the drug through cut-off plastic bottles.

Spokesman Graham Watson said the group had run "daccupations" before
at the university and had had no trouble from police.

There were no police at yesterday's protest.

"A fair few of these people would regularly consume cannabis on a
Friday afternoon, just like a lot of people have drinks after work."

He said the group, which operated separately from the National
Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml), wanted the
distribution of cannabis to be regulated and sold in a restricted way,
similar to tobacco or alcohol.

Some of the students in the queue said they were making a protest,
including an 18-year-old who said she had been arrested on a cannabis
charge last week and believed the drug should be made legal.

"The police should be spending more time getting real criminals, and
putting pressure on drink drivers," she said.

Others said they were participating because it was fun and

"It's not a political thing at all," said one. "It's Friday afternoon,
it's sunny, it's free, everyone's relaxed and there's a good vibe going on."

An 18-year-old said he smoked cannabis reasonably regularly, but did
not really support legalisation because it would be too

An Auckland police spokeswoman, Noreen Hegarty, said that in
situations such as the protest, officers were unlikely to investigate
unless they had been "on the spot and detecting it right in front of

Registrar Warwick Nicoll said the university was unaware the event was
taking place.

"Obviously we do not condone illegal behaviour of any kind on

The Government is flagging a revamp of cannabis laws which might
include partial decriminalisation. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake