The founder of New Zealand’s first cannabis club, Dakta Green, has had his jail sentence more than doubled following an appeal by the Solicitor General.
Green, 61, who ran The Daktory in New Lynn, Auckland, for more than 30 months, was sentenced in June to eight months’ jail for selling cannabis, possession of cannabis and allowing a premises to be used for commission of a crime against the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The charges followed a police raid on Green’s Delta Ave clubhouse.
The Solicitor General appealed the sentence last month and in a decision recently released the Court of Appeal quashed Green’s orginal sentence and increased his jail term to 23 months.
The Solicitor General argued that in sentencing Green the judge gave him too much of a discounted sentence, from a starting point of 27 months to 12 months, ”for factors relating to the circumstances of his offending”.
The reduction occured because the sentencing judge considered Green’s case was different, ”this situation could not be likened to a tinnie house” because Green wasn’t selling cannabis covertly or for personal gain, rather to maintain The Daktory.
The Daktory, although now closed for business, is the headquarters of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.
Green, who changed his name from Ken Morgan in 2008, is the Waitakere regional co-ordinator for NORML – the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
He stood for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in the 2009 Mt Albert by-election and is the driver of Mary Jane the Cannabus – a mobile marijuana reform education centre.
By STEVE HOPKINS