Marijuana Media: Big busts reveal prohibition’s folly


Kia ora! New Zealand’s biggest ever weed bust, our biggest ever drug haul, and “Well done” Zac Guildford – all this and more on Marijuana Mediaon 95bFM, with your hosts Jonny from bFM Drive and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore.


Listen on 95bfm here (opens new window)

‘We thought they were growing tomatoes’: Inside NZ’s biggest cannabis bust  

The neighbour “thought they were growing capsicums and tomatoes,” while another local said “You’d get a bit of a whiff and think, ‘nah, that’s my imagination’.” But police found 6500 cannabis plants in 11 hoop greenhouses at the Takehe, Northland, farm last November.

David Fisher revealed the details In the NZ Herald. It far exceeds the country’s previous single biggest bust; 4800 plants discovered by Police covering a hillside in Whanganui National Park – which itself got a huge photo on the front page of the Herald.

The Takehe property had only changed hands a few months previously, and a bunch of Vietnamese nationals soon got very productive. This would have been their first crop. Police think organised crime was behind it, and if similar operations overseas are any guide, they will be indentured worker-slaves lured here under false pretences of a better life. Locals say Police left a lot behind and they took was “as good a smoke as anything else grown locally.”

The detective in charge said the plants were “particularly abundant in terms of their ‘head’ material”. (This was last November, when sun-grown plants are typically small seedlings with buds typically developing over the summer – however as pointed out by Jonny on the bFM show, they plants could be autoflowering). Police burned the crop in the field next door, “from eight in the morning until eight o’clock at night,” dumped into the ground what they later called organic chemicals, and are now intending to seize the property.

TDB Recommends

NZ’s largest every drug bust with 3.2 tons of cocaine found at sea

Reported in the Herald and the Washington Post, the NZ Navy retrieved 81 bales from the ocean, not a floating garbage patch but a cache of drugs floating in the Pacific. It’s the biggest ever seizure of drugs by NZ authorities, valued at over $500 million and enough to keep Aotearoa snorting for an estimated 30 years.

The cocaine bundle was “set up into nets” with flotation devices. The design is not uncommon, said Greg Williams, a senior detective with the New Zealand police. “There’s multiple ways in which organized crime will want to get its product in our country,” Williams said. This includes flying drugs on planes, sending them in the mail, shipping them by sea, or hand-carrying them in suitcases. “And this is just one of those ways.”

The bust comes as wastewater testing results show cocaine use is on the rise in New Zealand, while meth and MDMA have peaked last year and are now on the comedown.

Drug overdoses on the rise; cannabis the safer choice

A new analysis by the NZ Drug Foundation of coroner’s reports has found drug overdoses including by alcohol, have risen 54% from 2017-2021. Opioids, alcohol, and benzos make up the top three. They can all be accessed legally or illegally, and are all used as medicines, yet they can all kill people who use them.

Cannabis does not feature in the list of overdose stats, yet is a substitute for all those more risky substances. For reducing pain, help with sleeping or just getting high: cannabis is the safer option. It’s a fact that if people used less of the stuff that can kill, and more weed instead, there would be fewer overdoses. In the US, legal cannabis stores are linked to fewer opioid related deaths. However the local stats also show combining sedatives is risky, so don’t mix your weed with things like alcohol or opioids. Keep it pure!

The NZ Drug Foundation’s recommendations to reduce overdoses include piloting an overdose prevention centre, increased availability of naloxone, increased public health messaging, changes to the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act, and – no surprise to Marijuana Media listeners – implement the Law Commission’s 2011 review of the Misuse of Drugs Act and repeal and replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Just throw it out and start again!

Zac Guildford smokes pot, breaches bail; former boss says “well done”

Media have gone wild over former All Black Zac Guildford being caught breaching his home detention by consuming cannabis. The road to recovery is difficult, and even more so when in the public eye.

Guildford, previously diagnosed with ADHD, appeared in the Christchurch District Court this week where he was convicted and discharged for breaching home detention which had been imposed following a series of events related to his addictions to alcohol and gambling. The breach was smoking some weed, which is often used by those with ADHD to control their symptoms.

Judge Raoul Neave warned Guildford that if he “smokes any more stuff” then he will be in trouble. But his former boss said she was incredibly proud of everything he had achieved during the past year and compared with everything Guildford had worked through, such as gambling and alcohol addiction, a “bit of pot” was minor. “For me the fact that he’s breached for a little bit of pot, I think ‘well done Zac Guildford’.”

To me it sounds like Zac Guidlford’s use may be medicinal, and I think he should get a prescription. With an otherwise spotless recent past, it appears his use of the healing herb is keeping him out of trouble – except with the law.

To get a prescription, see The Hempstore’s guide on how anyone can access medicinal cannabis, or ask us instore for more information.

Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at (or via iTunes / RSS feed).



  1. Labour in general and Andrew Little specifically let the voting public down with the way medical marajuana was handled . They have made it so expensive few can afford it and the hurdles that the producers are made to jump are a major reason. Now he has been removed progress may be made . Those I know in the medical field certainly cheered to see him go .

    • you could argue that now he has completed his doing damage to health and any semblance of a sane culture around weed – medicinal and recreational he has been moved to fuck over the military.

  2. Biggest problem is the lack of ability of politicians to take an evidence based approach, even though our own scientists came back and said its pretty safe stuff to use we still got an over regulated pile of legislation to vote on that made alcohol look safer.
    We were being told THC and raw leaf were a no no, it causes harm ect but now even before the election cycle is over from that referendum that failed we have pharma companies offering the same thing. You cant call it harm to the community and a medicine at the same time.
    Cannabis users in this country just got screwed over just so the pharma industry can make money.

    Im sure there are a few stalwarts in the drug squad that would like to see us all in jail if they could but I have found your average beat cop who actually takes evidence based practice as the norm see cannabis as a non issue they dont need to spend their time on, its just if it gets reported they have to act on it as that is what the law requires.

    The Vietnamese would be from the same criminal organisations operating out of Australia, one would think immigration would have a better handle on the people coming into this country wouldnt you.

  3. I’m certain I’m about to write words an’ that which could a been written elsewhere.
    Pot, is all good things. I’ve never been in a fight with a stoner. I don’t know anyone who’s died from Pot intake. Unless laughing then choking on a biscuit was causal.
    I do know, however, that some people like money. And Pot’s all about the money. Police salaries, lawyers fees, court costs, incarceration costs, helicopter and pilot fees and then there’s our wonderful, brave, beautiful, incredible politicians who toil away at keeping the public tit well lubed by sucking it while fucking about just to prolong the experience.
    Decriminalise Pot and you’ll get dear ol Granny growing for the grand kids as a Christmas surprise chocolate cake bake just to cheer the miserable little shits up and get them away from them digital brain-fuck machines. No money in that though. It literally costs nothing to put a dope seed in the soil in September then clip it in the last week of February. It just grows into a delight for the mind and body. But Nah Ahhh… Big bully boys say ” Nope.”
    AO/NZ’s a wonderful landmass. Its flora and fauna are unique to it and the worst it can do to you is bite you in a spot you can’t reach to scratch while driving. The noble sandfly is, as far as I’m aware, the only wee beastie that can penetrate the skin of a human in a deliberate search for blood. We have beautiful forests of such glory they take one’s breath away and yet there’s nothing in them that’d raise a welt. Our forests just are, and while they do that, they’re beautiful.
    So why are we human beings here such dipshits then? Why are we so moronic, so plainly fucking dumb? We’re standing on an Oasis. I would regard our Aotearoa/ New Zealand to be a gift from God, if I were to be convinced there was such a thing. And yet? We can’t wipe our arse’s without triplicate permissions from an office full of dull, deceitful little people with rubber stamp fetishes. All they can seem to be able to do is weakly sniffle while saying “Nah”. What the fuck’s wrong with us? Why do we tolerate that? What the fuck is it that renders us so mindlessly *compliant? Do we have mommy issues? Was daddy a nasty old cunt? Did Uncle Fingers get that little bit too close that Christmas? We need to get the fuck over all that and start telling OUR politicians that they must start doing what WE fucking say. And immediately! Never mind building walls we must tremble behind. Never mind polluting our souls with fear and trepidation. Just fuck that!
    Pot, is good stuff. It’s harmless in any quantity unless a large bale of it falls on top of you from four floors up.
    Unfortunately, if Pot’s decriminalised, there goes and income stream for the bullies, morons, the chemical pharmacology lot, the cops, lawyers, private prisons and boring, sycophantic morons who trail behind them a cloud of B.O- stinking nylon clothing, toilet freshener and mothballs.
    I also think this should be freely available in all supermarkets beside the faux-mystique that’s the false reality behind the peddling of a truly damaging and addictive chemical, alcohol. And sugar actually. MDMA.
    Go here. Watch this. Then book a ticket to Lisbon in Portugal because there, the population is clearly civilised and enlightened i.e. well read. Not dumb fucks like us who’ll take any old shit the all bought and paid for MSM throws at them. Aye Chippie?
    All currently illegal recreational drugs should be decriminalised and all currently legal and yet ironically highly addictive drugs ( Funny that, aye? ) like alcohol, sugar and salt should come with deservedly dire health warnings. Something like this. ” Eat too much of this shit and you’ll begin to look ugly and fat then you’ll start to smell funny then you’ll slow down to a crawl of your former pace then you’ll die alone, naked and face down at 4.00 am with pink froth coming out your arse hole. ” If you’d been stoned, you’d still be asleep in bed with your lover/s.
    * ‘Compliance’. Film. Watch.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.