The SST reported former Detective Inspector Harry Quinn:
Quinn, who also helped set up the national organised crime unit and was involved in numerous cannabis eradication operations, says he took flak within police for writing a report recommending a relaxation of cannabis enforcement, which would have involved issuing warnings to adult social users. …
Quinn told the Sunday Star-Times cannabis law did not need to be changed – but the way police enforced it did. They should rigorously prosecute anyone caught dealing drugs near schools or to youth, and anyone caught with cannabis in a vehicle, but go easy on adult recreational users, he said.
“If someone who is 40 years old is sharing a joint with their 42-year-old neighbour, they should simply tell them to put it out. Why we are wasting time prosecuting adults for the use of cannabis? I’m buggered if I know.”
I’m buggered if I know also.
He said the Misuse of Drugs Act clearly differentiated between those dealing to young people and adult recreational users.
Police ignored it completely and dealt with all offenders in the cannabis realm exactly the same. I think that was a tactical mistake.”
He said there were worse drugs to worry about. “The big guns in the police should be pointed at the drugs which affect people’s lives and can kill people – that’s not cannabis.”
Quinn said senior police needed to take another look at the law and issue guidelines to all officers “so it permeates all through.
“It’s not a soft approach, it’s just a different way of dealing with the problem.”