Dunedin marijuana museum planned

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis South Island manager Julian Crawford (left) and Legalise Cannabis...
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis South Island manager Julian Crawford (left) and Legalise Cannabis House manager Abe Gray are opening New Zealand's first cannabis museum in Dunedin. Photo by Jonathan Chilton-Towle.
South Dunedin will soon be home to New Zealand's first cannabis museum - and the police are among those keen to pay a visit. Jonathan Chilton-Towle reports.

A window display of two mannequins doing ''spots'' - smoking cannabis using heated knives - is planned for the front window of a cannabis museum being set up in Dunedin.

Legalise Cannabis House in David St, where the museum is located, is to become the national base of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and includes a broadcasting studio and computer suite for running the organisation's campaigns.

The museum will display information about cannabis and its history in Dunedin.

The museum holds more than 100 books about cannabis - many of which are unavailable in public libraries.

The idea is the brainchild of Legalise Cannabis House manager Abe Gray and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis South Island manager Julian Crawford.

''There will be no cannabis smoked or sold in the house,'' Mr Gray said.

''There will only be information.''

Local businesses spoken to by The Star were mostly unfazed by the appearance of the cannabis museum.

One business owner, who did not wish to be named, said alcohol caused more problems, while another thought if cannabis was legalised it would help get synthetic highs such as K2 off the street.

Other organisations were unaware of the museum and did not wish to comment.

Senior Sergeant Darryl Lennane, the acting area prevention manager, said police were not aware the museum had been established in South Dunedin.

''Police support safe and drug-free communities and cannabis is a drug that creates a significant level of social harm in our communities and often has a strong connection to organised criminal activities.''

The police would be paying the museum a visit, Snr Sgt Lennane said.

Mr Gray believed opposition to cannabis legalisation was not as strong as in the past, especially since it had been legalised for medicinal use in several overseas jurisdictions.

Dunedin had a strong history of activism for the legalisation of cannabis and, if the substance was legalised, Mr Gray believed there was a good opportunity for Dunedin to become a ''Dunsterdam'' - a centre for cannabis tourism.

Besides promoting cannabis law reform, the museum would promote open-source software and would have computers and other equipment available for the community to use.

Mr Gray hoped the house would show that pro-cannabis activists were community-minded people.


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