New Zealand To Ban Pot Magazines?

A request by NORML under the Official Information Act has revealed police had a secret meeting with Internal Affairs departmental heads, and asked them to try to get marijuana law reform magazine Norml News completely banned.


Three issues of Norml News were referred to the Censorship Office on 7 May (no decision has been made yet) after massive raids on indoor gardening stores across the country, code named Operation Lime.

The documents reveal Police hope to have Norml News completely banned, as well as High Times and Cannabis Culture magazines.

Police had previously denied being involved with sending the publication to the censors, and a spokesperson for the Censorship unit told media at the time that there was nothing to suggest the request for a ban had come from the police. The Secretary of Internal Affairs said he was just “seeking guidance”.

Suspecting there was more to itNORML News editor Chris Fowlie wrote to the Secretary of Internal Affairs under the Official Information Act, requesting any documents he held on the magazine.

The documents arrived today and reveal two police officers arranged a meeting with Internal Affairs department heads on 31 May 2010 “during which the existence of several publications dealing with the cultivation of cannabis and other illegal activity was discussed.”

The names of the police officers have been withheld because apparently making the information available would “be likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law.”

Police provided to Internal Affairs a property sheet that provides a strong link to the Operation Lime raids.

Police also asked the Secretary of Internal Affairs to pursue a Serial Publication Order – which would mean all existing and future copies of the magazine would be prohibited – for Norml NewsHigh Times and Cannabis Culture magazines.

In a letter to his subordinates at the Censorship Office, dated 3 May 2010, Jon Peacock on behalf of the Secretary of Internal Affairs requests a ban of not only the three issues submitted, but also requests “consideration is given to issuing a serial publication order on the publication.”

A serial publication order would mean all existing issues would be banned and the magazine would be prohibited from publishing any more issues.

“We are outraged at this blatant political interference in our campaign for sensible drug laws,” said editor Chris Fowlie. “Police are lying to the media and misleading the public. They should admit they are behind this censorship, rather than hiding behind the faceless grey suits of Wellington.”

“If the police succeed in banning Norml News, this could criminalise thousands of people who have an old copy somewhere,” said Mr Fowlie. “We have printed more than one million copies which all found happy homes and a recall would be impossible.”

– Article from NORML New Zealand.



  1. Libertarian on

    I second that – a democracy is nothing but a majority dictation, as they can take everything from a minority by vote! Folks forget this little fact if they are aware of it at all.
    All it takes in a democrazy is a single lausy vote to deny you of all your rights, property and pursuit of happieness – take the swiss ‘Minaret’ vote, infingement of ones religious rights to free expression of religion – yet perfectly legal in a democracy.
    I guess that also the reason why Bush/Obama are uttering the BS that the US would be a stinking ‘democracy’ as then their reign would be legitimatize in such a system.

    Your rights are only protected in a ‘Republic’ where a constitution imposses restictions on the powers of government. A constitution is the most effective if it not only includes the god granted personal rights (life, liberty and pursuit of happieness) but also draws extremly narrow space for Gov to opperate within. Therefore of cause it useless if Government isn’t effectively limited or/nor god given rights are all of a sudden granted by the Gov/State – what they grant they can also take again.

    Courts are bodies of the Gov, they are paid thru Gov and commonly are judges appointed by the Gov – it backwared to think that they can or be willing protect you from a overboarding government as they are a part of it.
    Either you have the constitutional right to bare arms and form thru this possetion of power a natual limit to Government or there is no at all limit.

  2. Anonymous on

    This is what can happen when a country has no constitution. Democracy alone can never ensure freedom. You have to impose strict limits on the power of a government, with courts strong enough to enforce those limits.

  3. Proud to be Canadian on

    “We are outraged at this blatant political interference in our campaign for sensible drug laws,” said editor Chris Fowlie. “Police are lying to the media and misleading the public.”

    That describes CANADA exactly …

  4. mary james on

    there are good people all around the world being betrayed by their politicians without being able to do anything about it. (don’t suggest voting them out!)
    just look at the US and the UK. IME new zealanders are generally lovely people with a very good attitude to life so i can only think that their politicos are responding to pressure from the US. just like everyone else.

  5. ray christl THC ministry global on

    pension,otherwise they should have complaints(complainant declaration is used to determine possible criminality)to fire/suspend/censure and imprison these maniacs of treason.Threaten them with coming against the people rights to redress grievances of Victorian/sumptuary “SIN” laws.These war officers personnel must shut-up or lose all!Become peace officers again?Infinite brain of iboga can heal this disease of war groupthink!!!

  6. Anonymous on

    icant get that at all tho, In NZ they sell many hallucinogen drugs sold in smart shops pretty much like the one in Europe, and they have legal MDMA what they called xtc in other places around the world and they have good attitude towered cannabis even the NZ gov ignore some small towns for huge outdoor growng. i wish if they could get rid of pro-alcohol initiative, i love NZ its a great country that dont deserve prohibition in any manner nor is every country in the world.

  7. Anonymous on

    “And while we’re at it, I’ll voice the same issue I had with Wal-Mart years ago, which is a matter of consistency and hypocrisy. Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and ‘clean’ versions be made for them to carry.”

    “My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any ‘indecent’ material for sale–but you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film ‘Scarface’ completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?” – Trent Reznor

  8. Beatnuck on

    What is common to the Spanish Inquisition, the McCarthy campaign, modern Islamic extremism, and now New Zealand’s pro-alcohol initiative? Answer: book burnings.

  9. Anonymous on

    First of all, banning any kind of literature is misguided and ass-backwards.

    Secondly, it’s TWENTY-TEN!!! We have the INTERNET! So, banning a couple magazines is sort of like shutting off a faucet and opening a floodgate.

  10. Bob Burrill on

    What books will the feds in NZ want to burn next? The Bible? Mein Kampf? Literature, good or bad is here for our education and enlightenment. Stop with the prohibition on our freedoms already!

  11. Anonymous on

    It’s 2010!!!!!! Is the world living in the dark ages??? This reminds me of Wal-Mart, and how they won’t sell “evil” marijuana magazines, but they choose to carry titles like “Guns and Ammo.”

  12. Paul Goodman on

    What is this the 1930’s? Has Harry Anslinger been resurrected. What happened to freedom of the press. All the grow info is online anyway. It boggles the mind!