NZ cops poison pot puffers

The New Zealand Police’s “Cannabis Eradication Program” has reached a sickening new low with the news that pot poisoned with a deadly blue spray is being sold in Auckland.
Police in Army helicopters have sprayed outdoor marijuana plantations during the past two growing seasons with a herbicide believed to be based on Monsanto’s Round Up, a carcinogenic poison that is sold with warnings cautioning against use near people, foods and waterways.

The blue dye is added by police as a warning for users to not smoke the poisonous plants, but the blue tinge is not noticeable to many smokers.

A concerned cannabis smoker who had complained of headaches, nausea and severe coughing fits showed New Zealand NORML a sample of the offending marijuana, but was unaware that it had been sprayed. The novice smoker had not seen the residues on the ounce of marijuana they had recently purchased for NZ$350. NORML has since been told of other smokers coughing up blood.

The toxic spray is a copper-blue colour, but marijuana naturally comes in a wide variety of colours including blue and purple strains, making identification difficult. There is also the danger that unscrupulous growers and dealers would rather sell the poisoned cannabis than throw their year’s income away. Reports have been circulating that the blue cannabis is being washed or dyed green with yellow food colouring, and also that it is being turned into hash oil.

While NORML has repeatedly warned police that sprayed marijuana would still be sold on the streets, they did not seem to care that their actions could result in the deliberate poisoning of a substantial number of New Zealanders. One officer was heard on national radio saying “if you smoke marijuana, that’s what you deserve.”

The poison is most likely to be unnoticed and consumed by novice smokers – young people – which reveals the claims that marijuana must be kept illegal to “protect the children” as a lie.

NORML has written to the Minister of Police George Hawkins demanding that he order this practise to stop, but he has declined to take any action, saying it was a “police operational matter.”

Detective Inspector Harry Quinn, the leader of the National Cannabis Eradication Programme, told NORML that their scientific advise is that “direct consumption of the spray or consumption of the smoke residue of the spray is not harmful even at very high levels of ingestion.”

While not offering to smoke any himself to prove his point, Inspector Quinn admitted that he had heard dyed cannabis was on sale in Auckland, but “Police have not reported any seizures to myself, indicating a very low incidence of use of any at all. But I assure you that your concerns parallel my own and we will continue to monitor the spray use to ensure no public health issues arise.”

If the police really were concerned about the health of the public, they would stop deliberately poisoning hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders, and would allow them to choose to use cannabis, the safest therapeutically-active substance known.

The New Zealand government has recently announced an inquiry into the cannabis laws, with the aim of minimising the “harms associated with cannabis”. If marijuana were legal, this is one significant harm that would instantly be eliminated.

NORML NZ: website; email [email protected]