Police are monitoring a group who claim to be setting up a Daktory in Whangarei - a paid club where members congregate to openly smoke cannabis.
Dakta Green, the man behind Auckland's infamous warehouse operation the Daktory, is fresh out of prison for cannabis-related crime and says he's backing the Whangarei effort.
The pro-cannabis activist was in Whangarei on April 23 talking to a "legalise" rally at the Town Basin.
"I think daktories should be established in every city and town in the country," Mr Green told the Advocate.
"[Legalisation] is an idea whose time has come."
Whangarei and Kaipara police area commander Inspector Justin Rogers said he was "aware of the intentions of Mr Green's group and [would] continue to monitor the situation accordingly", but declined further comment.
Mr Green, 66, ran the Daktory in New Lynn, Auckland for more than two years before being arrested in 2011.
He had since served two sentences for cannabis-related crime. Mr Green said the Daktory in Whangarei was still finalising the location of its clubroom.
An active Facebook page for the club claimed to have 10 financial members so far. Membership was advertised as costing $200 a year.
"The club will have a garden and financial members will each own a (cannabis) plant, this plant will have their name on it," the rules posted online read.
"When after 14 weeks this plant is harvested and dried, the member will receive a portion and their name will go on another plant. Members will in effect get their membership fees back."
Mr Green described the Daktory as "a place where people who are part of the cannabis culture can come together".
"Our main common interest is that cannabis is not a reason to be incarcerated," he said.
When asked whether he was worried about going back to prison for being associated with another Daktory, Mr Green said he encouraged the police to "get on and do some real policing".
"Just because I get sent to jail, it doesn't make the truth any less compelling. Cannabis should not be illegal."
Brian Borland, also involved in the Auckland operation, was now living in Whangarei and was listed as the president and treasurer of the local branch. Mr Borland had helped organise a series of rallies around the city, where people openly lit up joints in public spaces. The group held two rallies unreprimanded, before police turned up on the third week and arrested four people.
In April, the New Zealand Drug Harm Index was updated for the first time since 2008. The research, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, said 390,000 Kiwis were illegal drug users - and, if tax was paid on the drug trade, the Government would pull in at least $245 million a year.
The study said cannabinoids caused the least personal harm to its users of the various drug classes, at $9900 each year per dependent user, compared with amphetamines at $184,200.
Parliamentary discussion is currently around access to medicinal cannabis, rather than its recreational use.
- Northern Advocate