A Waikato man who claims he was giving hashish free to aged folks for ache aid has been raided and charged by police.
Meremere man Jason Tong entered not responsible pleas to 1 cost of possession of hashish with intent to produce, and two costs of supplying a category C managed drug, in Huntly District Courtroom yesterday.
Tong mentioned he simply needed to do his bit for folks in want – and he had gained the backing of a medicinal hashish advocate who fears “inexperienced fairy” prosecutions have gotten extra frequent.
Tong turned a inexperienced fairy by chance three years in the past, when his son was recognized with most cancers and he started wanting into various medicines, he mentioned.
His spouse found it was a treatment to the arthritis in her palms, and he discovered it eased his personal extreme again ache.
Tong started rising extra vegetation and posting them to kuia and kaumātua in his neighbourhood – after which dozens of others across the nation who advised him they have been in want, and could not afford different remedy.
All of it ended a month in the past when he seemed out the window and noticed cops swarming onto his property.
They took about 30 vegetation from the surface, earlier than transferring indoors.
“We might simply completed chopping all our out of doors vegetation from the summer time, so they beautiful a lot took a complete yr’s meds in a single hit,” he mentioned.
“They searched the entire home. They took all of the hashish, CBD oil, CBD balms, all the pieces we had in the home, they took.”
Tong believed he was focused as a result of two packages he dropped off at a publish store in Pukekohe smelt of hashish.
Nonetheless, he insisted the raid was misguided.
“They appeared to assume that we have been some massive develop operation and that we have been supplying gangs,” he mentioned.
“At one stage [during the raid] the detective in cost got here out and requested me to inform them the place the cash was, or the place the secure was, ‘trigger if I did not inform them, he mentioned they have been going to tear the home to items. I mentioned to him at that stage that there isn’t any cash. I nearly laughed at him.”
Yesterday, Tong and his son appeared in Huntly District Courtroom and entered not responsible pleas to 1 cost of possession of hashish with intent to produce, and two costs of supplying a category C managed drug.
He maintained he did not do something flawed and needed police to contemplate dropping their costs.
“I do not imagine we’re hurting anybody. The folks we glance after, they’re consenting adults and a number of them do not wish to go down the pharmaceutical path.
“Certain there are some folks on the market dealing medication and doing it for the flawed causes. However there are a number of us which can be doing it for the best causes.”
Wiggle room – or not
There’s some wriggle room within the legislation, by a 2019 modification to the Misuse of Medicine Act which supplies police discretion to not prosecute in some circumstances.
However Auckland College of Expertise affiliate professor of legislation Khylee Quince mentioned the state of affairs was extra difficult when that individual was a inexperienced fairy like Tong with greater than 28 grams of hashish.
“The legislation says that when you are in possession of that quantity, it’s presumed that you’ve it for provide as a drug supplier. Whereas the problem with inexperienced fairies is one in all motive – that they develop and provide to assist different folks. So they don’t seem to be conventional drug sellers,” Quince mentioned.
Co-ordinator for the charity Medical Hashish Consciousness New Zealand, Shane le Brun, mentioned he was appalled by Tong’s state of affairs however not shocked, as he had seen a number of prefer it in current weeks.
Medicinal hashish in New Zealand is authorized, however le Brun mentioned there was just one product that obtained prescribed and for most individuals, “value is the most important barrier”, with a price ticket of as much as $1000 a month.
Till that modified, folks like Tong have been going to proceed getting penalised, he mentioned.
That was extra cause for full decriminalisation of hashish, as dozens of social service and well being organisations known as for final month, le Brun mentioned.
“They principally must blast the Minister of Well being and put a unique politician answerable for the Misuse of Medicine Act.”
Tong mentioned he visited his physician and now had a prescription for seven various kinds of ache remedy to exchange the hashish he used.
In an announcement, police confirmed they might not use discretion in Tong’s case.
A spokesperson mentioned two Meremere males aged 47 and 34 had been collectively charged with possession for provide hashish plant and two costs of provide hashish plant, after a looking out an handle in Meremere and finding hashish “with an approximate avenue worth of $53,000”.
“Police can use discretion for these positioned with hashish and different medication below Part 7 Offences of the Misuse of Medicine Act 1975. That is for people who find themselves discovered with a small quantity of medication and/or utensils,” a spokesperson mentioned.
They mentioned the hashish discovered on the Meremere property was a “vital quantity”, and the case wouldn’t meet the discretion standards.
Police declined to remark additional because the matter is earlier than the courts.
The spokesperson mentioned selections to put medication costs have been made on a case-by-case foundation and could possibly be made by the attending officer by to a supervisor.