New Zealand TV Network Probes Claim Staff Used Cannabis With Activists


Photo: Dakta Green
Dakta Green: “I will never stop campaigning to free cannabis users from these harsh and unfair laws”

​Television New Zealand is investigating an allegation that its staff smoked cannabis while visiting Waitangi with marijuana law reform advocates.

A report on a trip to the Waitangi Day celebrations by marijuana activist Dakta Green and others in the “Cannabus” bus was featured on the TV show “Close Up” last Tuesday, reports the New Zealand Herald.
“Nobody in New Zealand should be ever punished by their boss simply for smoking cannabis on their own time,” Green said Saturday.
“So long as no one is being hurt and no disturbance caused, what goes on outside of the job is no matter of the company or the employer,” Green said.
Green is a leading member of the New Zealand contingent of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
The report featured scenes of “drug taking,” according to the Kiwi press, which sounds pretty bad until you remember it’s just some folks smoking cannabis.

Photo: The Daktory
Dakta Green: “Even if they had, so what? They’re adults! It’s only cannabis — a drug that’s far safer than both alcohol and tobacco”
​”The Herald understands a complaint about the item include an allegation that four TVNZ staff took drugs with the NORML contingent in the bus after filming had finished for the day,” the newspaper reported.
The complainant claimed the group had photos of TVNZ staff members smoking the cannabis.
TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards wouldn’t given any details of the “serious allegations” or say how many staff members were involved, but confirmed an investigation was underway.
“NORML sympathizes with any employee in New Zealand who fears for their job because of private cannabis use, or who has faced consequences from their employer for having used cannabis,” Green said.
Dakta Green said he knew many people in the cannabis culture who felt upset about the way in which “Close Up” treated him in a segment aired on New Zealand TV last week.
“Some have made formal complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, but my understanding is they only complained about the content of the show, nothing else,” Green said.
“Any claims of wrongdoing alleged against the TVNZ staff in question are nothing but hearsay,” Green said. “We enjoyed their company and I believe they enjoyed ours, but I can categorically say they never smoked cannabis with us on the CannaBus.”
“And besides, even if they had, so what?” Green said. “They’re adults! It’s only cannabis — a drug that’s far safer than both alcohol and tobacco.”
“I’m very sorry these people are being treated this way, particularly as it’s happened immediately following the Law Commission’s report recommending no more criminalization of cannabis smokers,” Green said.
According to Green, such persecution is an infringement of basic human rights, something he plans to talk more about on the planned upcoming Armistice Tour 2010.
“The Armistice Tour is about ending the drug war between the government and the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand,” Green said. “We want to bring an end to decades of prejudice and hurt.”