A former police investigator is among a number of high-profile New Zealanders encouraging the country to vote Yes in the upcoming cannabis referendum.
The New Zealand Drug Foundation’s “Our Own Terms” campaign features Tim McKinnel, an investigator who helped prove Teina Pora’s innocence, alongside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, psychiatrist Hinemoa Elder and educator Richie Hardcore, among others.
“The system as it is now is a free-for-all, it’s unregulated and uncontrolled and forces people to dip their toes into the black market,” said McKinnel, who spent several years on the police drug squad.
“Police spend a great deal of time and money fighting cannabis, with helicopter recovery operations, or with uncovering underground growing operations. It’s a drain not only on policy but on our courts and prisons.”
He is supporting the Yes campaign because it will allow for stricter regulations.
“The Bill we are voting on is the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. People tend to forget about the control part.”
This is a key point that the proposed law does in fact impose significant controls on the sale of cannabis, all of which are lacking in the illegal black market.