Author(s): Rex McDowall
From the early 1970's when travellers returned to New Zealand from their big OE with cannabis seeds in their pockets from California, Mexico and Asia, the cultivation of cannabis as a recreational drug was here to stay. This book covers the early history of cannabis in New Zealand from its cultivation as a useful medicinal herb, to how it came to be a prohibited plant and eventually the mainstay of organised criminal enterprises. It describes the early use of cannabis by artists, and jazz musicians with their Bohemian lifestyles until the flood of cheap Thai Buddha sticks made good quality product available to all. It follows the efforts of the Police to combat the cultivation and use of cannabis from the earliest horticultural ventures in the hills of Coromandel, Northland and the East Coast leading to the use of helicopters to locate and destroy cannabis plantations. It covers accidents, some major Police operations, interesting and sometimes amusing incidents. In July 2012, NZ Police in Operation National arrested 2573 persons for cannabis offences and destroyed around 130,000 cannabis plants. Properties, cars, cash, boats, firearms and stolen property were also seized. To some this might demonstrate a spectacular success for the police while others might suggest that it just shows the use of cannabis as a recreational drug in this country is out of control. You decide.