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New Zealand: Pro Cannabis Protests Outside Court

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URL: http://www.mapinc.or...1/n325/a06.html

Newshawk: Herb

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Sat, 21 May 2011

Source: Bay Of Plenty Times (New Zealand)

Copyright: 2011 Bay Of Plenty Times

Contact: http://www.bayofplen...-to-the-editor/

Website: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2926






A noisy street demonstration organised through Facebook has been held to protest the court appearance of a Te Puke man caught with cannabis at this year's Raggamuffin festival.


Kiwifruit worker Douglas John McLeod, 42, was yesterday convicted and fined $150 in the Rotorua District Court for possessing cannabis, cannabis hash blocks and drug utensils including a pipe and a magnifying glass he used to light it. The charges relate to McLeod being caught with the drugs and paraphernalia at the Raggamuffin festival at Rotorua International Stadium on February 5.


He defended the charges at a court hearing before Judge Edward Blaikie yesterday and was found guilty.


McLeod was supported by about 20 people, most of whom were members of the group National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws ( NORML ).


Supporters travelled from Wellington, Auckland, Hamilton and Waihi to protest outside the courthouse after a webpage on social networking website Facebook, called Court Support for Doug McLeod, was set up.


Cars drove past the group tooting their horns and a bus repeatedly circled the courthouse while a woman used a loud-haler to promote the decriminalisation of cannabis.


At the hearing, Judge Blaikie said evidence for the defence given by NORML member Dakta Green that the Speaker of the House had permitted people to smoke cannabis during a protest on parliament grounds was extraordinary and irrelevant to the court case.

MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.

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