Cannabis activist Dakta Green received a rapturous Waitangi Day welcome yesterday with chants of “Free the Weed” from the mainly Maori crowd during a Waitangi walkabout.
Dakta Green was greeted like a celebrity while official Waitangi celebrations went on behind them, an enthusiastic crowd gathered around the Treaty flagpole to hear Dakta Green and NORML NZ President Phil Saxby launch the “Armistice Tour”.
“The Armistice Tour is about ending the drug war between the government and people of Aotearoa-New Zealand,” says Dakta Green. “We want to bring an end to decades of prejudice and hurt.”
NORML’s Cannabus (Maryjane) will tour New Zealand during the next three months, ending with a rally at parliament. “An Armistice means that neither side has to admit defeat. We start the tour with three proposed conditions for a just settlement of the drug wars:
• Adult use only- NZ has the highest rate of teenage cannabis-use in the world
• Amnesty – stop arresting the people for cannabis (NZ has the highest arrest rate in the world for cannabis use)
• A regulated market – replace the uncontrolled criminal market with a regulated, taxable, cannabis trade.
The Daktory has already begun regulating the market in Waitakere in the absence of any Government controls. The club enforces a strict age limit.
Phil Saxby says the tour coincides with the public discussion period on the Law Commission’s issues paper, due out later this week.
“Laws must be based on justice and the consent of the governed. This country’s cannabis consumers – over 400,000 of them – will never consent to their unjust persecution under the Misuse of Drugs Act”, he says.
He told the crowd at Waitangi that the support from Northland people had been overwhelming with the Cannabus receiving toots of support, waves and the Daktory hand signal in support of cannabis law reform.
In unscheduled meetings on the Treaty Grounds, Dakta Green and Phil Saxby met with Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff.
“We told the two main party leaders of our intention to end the drug wars and asked them to help resolve this 35-year conflict,” said Phil Saxby. “We will arrive at parliament at the end of the Armistice Tour, with firm proposals for a peace settlement”.
“At Waitangi, we met supporters from throughout the north and around New Zealand. The Armistice Tour will be back in Northland soon to help communities like Dargaville and Whangarei establish their own community run Daktory as part of ending the drug war” says Dakta Green. “It’s time now for peace and reconciliation.”