National concerned by Police backdown on cannabis

Police need explain why they’ve quietly decided to ditch the annual cannabis eradication operation and how they will continue crack down on the supply of cannabis, National’s Police spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“To make a major decision such as this and not tell the Minister beforehand, let alone frontline staff, is unacceptable.

“We would be very concerned if a lack of funding had anything to do with this decision or the Government’s failure to deliver its promised 1800 new police officers.

“While we recognise methamphetamine is an issue, so is cannabis use. New Zealanders voted to reject the legalisation of cannabis. It’s an illegal drug and it causes significant harm in our communities.

“There is still a lot of organised crime involved in manufacturing and selling cannabis.”

The annual cannabis eradication operation nets thousands of plants every year and prevents millions of dollars worth of socio-economic harm. It also uncovers organised crime activity, illegal guns and other drug operations, Mr Brown says.

“Given the increase in gang activity and violence we’re seeing across the country, operations like cannabis eradication would be useful now more than ever.

“New Zealanders will rightly want to know why Police made the decision to quietly drop the operation and how they’ll continue to tackle issues around supply of cannabis.”