It's getting close to that time of year again. Where we get to see the police publicly keeping cannabis from harming the public. Every year they give these operations exciting and cryptic code names. I believe this operation should really be called. 'Operation Photo-op'. Because that's all it is, a photo-op.
How can we justify an operation that costs over three thousand dollars an hour. An operation that travels from the bottom of this country, to the top. And for what? The recovery of less than 20 percent of cannabis grown in New Zealand.
All this operation really achieves, is a guaranteed colour photo-op, on page one or page three of the paper. Sending out the message "We have it under control". The thing that's really being controlled is the free use of the plant for food uses, paper uses, fuel uses, medicine uses.
The resource, and costs currently being spent to prop up prohibition, on a drug many times less harmful than alcohol, is ridiculous. Maybe these resources and cost could be used on the real problem, alcohol. Police are definitely under resourced when it comes to the problems caused from alcohol abuse.
It is proven cannabis has few harms. While alcohol's harms can be deadly. We are prohibiting a plant which is proven to be a multi-beneficial plant, unique in its versatility. The question is; What is stopping us from using it?
If cannabis is really a health problem,shouldn't it be dealt as such? Police shouldn't be needed in the equation, unless it's an 'at risk' situation. Or should we expect the police to visit us in the future, to ensure we have taken our 'flu-shots'?
The truth is, we don't need prohibition any more. We're an informed public, and when you take the time to look at regulation, it makes sense. Regulation protects people at-risk, while allowing people to benefit from the many uses that the cannabis plant offers.
People's taxes are being wasted on these operations, and it should stop. It is a drain of resources, resources that could be use better in other ways. Such a huge expenditure being spent, for what is a basically a health issue, needs to stop.
Are we expected to believe that our representatives are not aware of peer reviewed studies on the benefits from the cannabis plant, and if they're not aware, shouldn't they be?
Some laws need to be questioned, and the Misuse of Drugs Act, is one of those laws. Does it really make any sense to prohibit the plant cannabis?
The University of Auckland study into the effectiveness of cannabis eradication in New Zealand, stated that In the year 2002, the police spent 21 million dollars on eradicating cannabis, for the whole year. The actual eradication operation's budget is secret. But the cost of the helicopters and crew is not, that reaches over three thousand dollars per hour. The conclusion of the study stated, after looking at all the factors and costs. "there would appear to be a case to further examine the role that the cannabis eradication programme plays in police strategy……."
The Effectiveness of Cannabis Crop Eradication Operations in New Zealand
Drug and Alcohol Review (2002) Pp 369-374.