Monday, January 31, 2005

Flying low

A light plane that crashed in the Gibbston Valley near Queenstown on Saturday, killing two people, had been on a police cannabis reconnaissance flight, says ONE News.

Apparently, it's not the first time that aerial cannabis law enforcement has turned to tragedy. Twelve years ago two officers and two civilians were killed when a spotter plane collided with a helicopter above Auckland. The latest accident brings New Zealand's total aerial cannabis spotting deaths to six.

Police Minister George Hawkins says that "our on-going struggle against drugs, and in particular cannabis, sometimes extracts a cruel price".

It's not worth it, George. Why fight cannabis, when the number of cannabis-related deaths is, officially, zero? Why not fight more dangerous drugs, like ecstasy? The death toll from ecstasy is now... oh... er... only three. Looks like flying around spotting cannabis is twice as dangerous as blissing out on E. Good thing that you've temporarily suspended air searches for cannabis plots. Please, make it permanent. If you fly around looking for cannabis, you're playing Russian roulette.


At 12:21 pm, Blogger flysiguy said...

Right on Richard
The number of deaths directly related to alcohol in the same time period would be an interesting comparison.
Once again the realisation that cannabis is a victimless crime, EXCEPT that it is illegal and so causes crimminals to be involved for the profits to be had from a shortage of supply,seems to completely miss these esteemed politicians in their scramble to control all and sundry.
A young friend of mine (19 yrs) was recently sent to prison for 12 months for a relatively small amount of cannabis. It was his first offence. He has just been let out on home detention but just the couple of months he spent in prison has affected him greatly and has changed him forever.
Meanwhile a protected apartheid supporter is sentenced to 320 hrs community service for engaging in a enterprise designed to not only make himself a tidy sum of taxfree dosh but also contribute to the ruin of OUR natural resources. Something smells in the land of Mother Helen.

At 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Richard

So what you are saying is that more people have died on aerial cannabis surveillance than have died from smoking cannabis? Almost funny in a sad and tragic kind of way.

Flysiguy (hey bro) be interested in the details of your young friend. I'm always looking for blatently unjust cases to highlight (anonymously or otherwise) as that's what brings it home to peole eg neville Yates getting 5 months for medical marijuana.

JaH guide

At 1:36 am, Blogger Richard said...

In fact, the official number of "cannabis-related" deaths for the period 1990-96 is seven. But it is unclear whether any of these deaths can be attributed to smoking cannabis in the same way that deaths from a range of maladies are attributed to tobacco smoking. Check out the Ministry of Health's New Zealand Drug Statistics and draw your own conclusions.
My safety advice is to use knives, not planes, for cannabis spotting.

At 11:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard, at least one of the aircraft that collided over Auckland was a traffic spotter, the other was the police helicopter, but I somehow doubt that it was cannabis spotting over the central Auckland motorway exchange. I recall this well as I was in the area at the time and actually saw the chopper coming in, but only heard the collision.

At 9:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm! a Tony Harrod fell from the underside of a copter when the carabiner his harness was attached to came adrift,30 metres head first,presumably head first into the pot he was trying to recover.


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