Trespassed for being NORML
The grass is no longer greener on the University of Otago’s side after the Uni issued several Trespass orders against members of National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – without explaining why.
On Wednesday September 12, Police issued trespass orders to a handful of non-student members of NORML, who according to fellow members “occasionally attend 420 gatherings” on the Universities Union Lawn.
Critic contacted members of NORML to confirm the number of notices issued, but due to the distraction caused by the extremely long mozzarella strands swaying off their pizzas, they were unable to confirm this information.
There is no legal obligation to state why a trespass order is being issued. However, the head of NORML, Abe Gray, believes this latest crackdown is part of the University’s plan to get rid of the 420 group. “The Uni is just testing the waters to hand them [trespass orders] out. They have a ‘we don’t like you, you’re stoners’ attitude.”
The University is not allowed to issue trespass notices to students, but the 420 group is allowed a certain non-student percentage in their club, who now appear to have been targeted by the University.
NORML member, Paul, who was issued a trespass order over two years ago, told Critic: “It overrides the idea of a free society, and it’s unbecoming of the University.”
Despite New Zealand having the highest use of cannabis per person according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paul made it clear that this was not the issue at hand: “It’s niggly, petty harassment.”