Drop in cannabis convictions fuels calls for law reform

I te Taitokerau,  kua ara ake ano te karanga kia whakahouhia te ture tarukino ao ake i te hekenga i te maha o nga iwi e whakawhiu ana e te kooti mo te tarukino ma te ono tekau paiheneti.

E ai kit e tumu whakarae o Te Tūāpapa Tarikino o Aotearoa a Ross Bell, “That's not because drug use has suddenly dropped.  It’s because police are taking a much more grown up attitude to how they should enforce New Zealand's drug law.  We know that convictions are a real problem for a lot of people and seeing fewer convictions I think is an absolutely a good thing.”

Ko ta te tirohanga o te tari ture o tenei rohe, me whakawhiti enei take ma tetahi taumata ture a te iwi kee e whiriwhiri e whakatau.

Hei tā tētahi kaimahi no te Taitokerau Community Law a Dr Carol Peters, “From our perspective at Taitokerau Community Law it’s important that people don't have convictions because it effects their lives yknow so for small things really we should be treating marijuana like we treat alcohol in terms of usage.  We have to look at other ways of that people are kept safe.”

E ai ki a Bell, “Fundamentally we know that Māori miss out on any of these alternatives.  That Māori aren't always getting pre-charge warnings so if you look at the prison population right now half of the prison population are Māori 40% of them are in there for drug crime and that is not the same for non-Māori.”

I roto i nga rangahau a Te Tuapapa Tarukino o Aotearoa he nui te tautoko te iwi kia tinihia te ture tarukino kia huri nui ake te aronga ki te whakaoranga o te iwi.  Kamutu, ahakoa te hekenga i te maha o te iwi e ngaua ana e te ture kei te ritekore tona whiu.

“So we do have the police commissioner talked about unconscious bias.  I think many of us would call it institutional racism. And that institutional racism is backed up thru our drug law. And one way that we can address racism in our criminal justice system is to change our drug law,” hei tā Bell.