New Zealand Suspends Helicopter Searches for Cannabis Crops
CANNABIS CULTURE – A spokesperson for the New Zealand police was quoted to say, “with the increased harm in many communities arising from other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, a one-size-fits-all annual aerial national cannabis operation no longer represents the most appropriate deployment of police resources.”
Light propeller aircraft and helicopters have taken to the skies yearly from the 70s, giving New Zealand police a tool to surveil the ground below for cannabis-growing plots, forest fields, or greenhouses. Every year this costs the New Zealand taxpayers millions of dollars.
The budgetary windfall will now shift to the fight against “priority drugs” like methamphetamine, known locally as “P.”
“The decision to spread resources throughout the year and increase surveillance focus on the drugs causing the greatest harm in the community does not mean that police across the country will not investigate and prosecute people engaged in the commercial cultivation of cannabis.”
However, an expose in STUFF, the most respected investigative media outlet in New Zealand claimed that police bosses agreed to stop the flights after finding that local police districts have little appetite to do the air searches.
The mounting of yearly surveillance had sparked polarized debates over the years. Critics accuse