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Weed Sprouts Across New Zealand Parliament Grounds Weeks After Occupation

An unknown protester sowed cannabis seeds throughout the rose gardens of New Zealand’s Parliament in Wellington, most likely as an act of defiance. This guerilla-growing man may have just broken up an anti-vaxxer gang that had been going on for weeks.

New Zealand HeraldAccording to reports, Parliament grounds staff promptly removed half the number of weed plants from the site as they continued to sort through the rubble.

According to New Zealand’s 1 News, an unnamed protester returned to Parliament grounds on Thursday claiming the seeds had been sown during the chaos, alongside a range of other plants that are always there, such as coriander, brassica and marigolds.

Many of the cannabis seeds had been scattered throughout Parliament rose gardens, the protester told 1 News in anonymity, and “many more will likely germinate for years to come.” It is not immediately clear if the protester was involved in or liable for any of the violence that took place weeks prior. 

With a few weeks’ head start, nature takes over and it can spread like a weed. According to a Parliament groundskeeper, more cannabis seeds will eventually sprout. “There were a few cannabis seedlings,” the groundskeeper said. “A lot of seeds had been scattered around, amongst other things left from the protesters.”

Parliament grounds Speaker Trevor Mallard told 1 News, “I’ve asked for the weed to be weeded.”

This comes after a 23-day occupation of New Zealand’s Parliament grounds and surrounding streets by protesters against the country’s vaccine mandate—eerily similar to the insurrection at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Copycat rebels set fire to areas and threw explosive objects. In some instances, they tried to drive into law enforcement vehicles.

The occupation began as a “convoy” that kicked off in Wellington on February 8, and was very similar to the Canadian convoy that took place in Ottawa in Canada. They occupied the Parliament Building in Wellington, before everything went South. Then they moved on to blocking most roads.

John Pratt, from Victoria University of Wellington says that the police didn’t do anything to stop the occupation. They also did not enforce Victoria University’s complaint against the protestors. If they hadn’t chosen to spread the weed throughout the Parliament grounds, it could also have been prevented. Protesters tried to set fire to the Law School building.

Christopher Luxon, leader of Opposition National Party, repeatedly expressed sympathy to the protesters. Other issues may also be at stake amid the protests against vaccine mandate.

Are they connected to Random Roadside Drug Testing

Random drug screenings on roads will be carried out in New Zealand starting in 2023. This is in an attempt to discourage impaired driving. The Māori Party is the only party to have voted against the bill.

“In July 2020 the Government introduced legislation that would introduce a compulsory random roadside drug testing scheme in New Zealand,” the Ministry of Transport wrote in an announcement. “Under the proposed drug driving regime, oral fluid tests will detect the most prevalent impairing illicit and prescription drugs at the roadside. The proposed change allows police to test drivers for the presence of drugs anywhere, any time, just as they can for alcohol.”

For 25 street drugs including THC, there are specific blood limits. THC, like other street drugs, can remain in the bloodstream much longer than others.

Drivers found to be in possession of drugs may face a fine and a suspension for at least 12 hours. Drivers who are found to be high or not possessing controlled substances will not face criminal charges.

New Zealand’s medical associations rushed to block the drug-testing plan. The framework for oral fluid and blood tests is “not supported by reliable scientific evidence”, the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners said. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists said “the presence of drugs … does not directly relate to impairment.” The NZ Medical Association also said that the science is “not quite sufficiently adequate.”