Newsbrief: New Zealand MP Tanczos Cleared in Marijuana Probe 12/27/02

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New Zealand police announced December 19 that their investigation of Green Party Member of Parliament (MP) Nandor Tanczos was over and that the complaint against him would be dismissed. Tanczos, a Rastafarian and New Zealand's leading cannabis reformer, was targeted for police investigation by right-wing New Zealand First MP Craig McNair, who complained in September that Tanczos continued to smoke cannabis while an MP. (See our interview with Tanczos at for further background.)

In a letter to McNair released to the public, Wellington Detective Inspector Harry Quinn wrote that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute Tanczos. "Inquiries have been made into your allegations, and a review of that information has been conducted. As a result, Wellington police have concluded that no criminal offending can be established to requisite standard on the evidence presently available."

Quinn told the New Zealand Herald that Tanczos was interviewed by police about his past statements about cannabis use. "Mr. Tanczos was cooperative, but asserted his legal rights not to answer questions relating to his personal cannabis use," Quinn said. "Publicly stating you plan to use cannabis in the future is not an offense," he added.

Green Party leaders called the failed complaint a "pathetic, vindictive little joke," according to the Herald. They added that the episode highlighted the need to reform the island nation's cannabis laws. "Already police have wasted too many hours investigating what was never anything but a frivolous publicity stunt. The complaint was laid almost three months ago. How many police hours have been spent on it since September?" asked Green co-leader Rod Donald.

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Issue #269, 12/27/02 Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: New Zealand MP Tanczos Cleared in Marijuana Probe | Newsbrief: Nevada High Court Voids Meth Drug Ingredient Law | Newsbrief: "What About the Children?" -- Colorado Bills Target Home Meth Labs | Newsbrief: Ohio Supreme Court Backs Workers in Workers' Comp Drug Test Ruling | Newsbrief: Brit MP Calls for Drug Testing 10-Year-Olds, Comments Came in Debate Over Criminal Justice Bill | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: US-Trained Thai Drug Unit Pulls Back from Burmese Border | Newsbrief: Columbia, Missouri, Marijuana Petition Has Enough Signatures | Newsbrief: Tampa Ordinance Would Criminalize "Drug Dealer Behavior" | Newsbrief: Drug Checkpoints at West Virginia NORML Rally Draw Lawsuit | Online Petition Launched Supporting MEPs' Call for Ending Prohibition | Media Scan: Montreal Compassion Club, Impact Press on Marijuana Legalization | DC Job Opportunities at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar

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