New Zealand cannabis activist running for mayor on pro-pot platform


Dakta Green.

Dakta Green wants to legalize cannabis. He’s open about his cannabis use – you kind of have to bee when you’re the co-coordinator of New Zealand NORML, you’ve been arrested for operating a place that openly allows the use and sale of herb – and has been a major an advocate for New Zealand repealing and reforming their marijuana laws.
And now Green is running for mayor of the Ruapehu District (roughly the same as a county in the United States) on the North Island of New Zealand on a cannabis reform/lowering electricity costs platform.

“The reality is cannabis is being legalized around the world. It is only a question of when it will be here,” he tells the New Zealand Herald.
Green (who Toke has covered regularly over the last few years) is probably best known for being a founding member of The Daktory, a collective/club of cannabis users, growers and friendly dealers who operated quasi-openly out of a warehouse space in Auckland.
Police raided the space in 2010, arresting Green for numerous marijuana-related “crimes.” At sentencing, the judge allegedly admitted that his arrest and sentence was purely political. Since that time he’s been harassed by police quite regularly and eventually closed down the Daktory in December of 2012.
These days Green, 63, has moved back to his hometown of Taumarunui where he has purchased a former factory that he plans to turn into a museum – which is no doubt where his platform to force the local power company to lower their rates comes from. He says the high rates are stifling economic growth in the area (Editor’s note: indoor cannabis growing?)
Green is up against a former farmer/trust fund manager/mayor, a former deputy mayor/retired-farmer and a regular-old farmer who dabbles in sustainable growth and earth house-building.
Kiwis love their cannabis – the country is listed by several world organizations as being right up there with the U.S., Italy, Canada and even the U.S. in overall consumption related to their population* – so maybe Green has a chance.
We wish him luck either way.

* According to a UN World Drugs report, the highest rate is the teeny-tiny 21,000-person, 250-island-plus country of Palau north of Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. Cannabis isn’t legal there, but it is apparently smoked openly by locals and is a major export cash crop to nearby island nations.