|Protesters outside the Waitakere Court|
The pro-cannabis protesters were at court to demonstrate against the arrests of four people from Auckland cannabis club The Daktory, which was raided last week after revelations cannabis was being sold from a vending machine there.
A 45-year-old Dutch woman, a 20-year-old man from Namibia and two New Zealand men aged 20 and 28 are charged with possessing cannabis.
All four appeared in court this morning after police raided the club's New Lynn premises, seizing $27,000 cash, cannabis and drug paraphernalia.
Outside, protesters carried signs reading "It's a health issue, not a crime", "legalise cannabis" and "too many smokers to arrest".
The protest was quiet and orderly, and was monitored by five police officers.
A man asked passers-by to sign a petition urging cannabis be legalised, and handed out pamphlets on medicinal cannabis.
One protester, Dakta Toxin, said she would stay at the court protesting for "as long as it takes", while another protester added that he would be there until his death.
Daktatoxin said the best way for the government to deal with cannabis was to "legalise it, especially for medicinal cannabis users".
She urged law makers to "free the Daktory four".
The Namibian man is also charged with knowingly permitting the premises of the Daktory to be used for supplying cannabis, and the 28-year-old was charged with possessing spotting knives for the purpose of using marijuana.
The woman faces a charge of possessing cannabis for supply.
The Daktory remains open but says it won't replace the cannabis vending machine that led to it being busted.
The New Lynn club in Delta Ave had been selling 1gm bags of cannabis from a vending machine several months and had hoped by doing its members would avoid being prosecuted for dealing the class C drug.
- © Fairfax NZ News