Activists hope to make Dunedin 'Cannabis capital'

NEW ZEALAND: Marijuana legalization advocates in Dunedin have high hopes the city will become Dunsterdam, the cannabis capital of the South Pacific.

Two organizations are planning what they call a real “joint” venture – the opening of New Zealand’s first marijuana museum this month.

Julian Crawford of the Legalise Cannabis Party, who is launching the Cannabis Museum with Dunedin cannabis lobbyist Abe Gray of Otago Norml, pledges it will stay within the law.

It would comprise displays and information designed to educate on aspects of cannabis use. It would also lobby for the party, promoting the legalization of cannabis. Some merchandise, such as T-shirts, would be sold to raise funds for the campaign.

“We’ve had this concept of Dunsterdam, the Amsterdam of the South Pacific,” Crawford said. The Dutch capital, which has legalized the sale of cannabis to adults, is doing very well out of the resulting trade, he said.

“We’ve been following what is happening in Amsterdam for a while. The model there has reduced use [of cannabis] by teenagers by having an age restriction and regulating the market.

“It actually gets quite a few tourists buying cannabis and contributing to the local economy.” The two groups involved had a strong presence on the campus of Otago University and had wanted to move into offices for some time to give the legalise campaign increased profile, Crawford said.

If the political lobby was successful in achieving legalisation of cannabis in New Zealand, the Government might follow the Dutch model, he said.


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