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ALCP list candidate Paul McMullan was found not guilty of cannabis possesion in Dunedin distrct court on thursday the 8th of October.
Following his arrest in February, McMullan defending himself for the duration of the 7 month case, succesfully convincing Judge Keane that the police case against him was insufficient proof of his guilt. An initial charge of cultivation of cannabis was downgraded to possesion following the election of a jury trial by the accused.
Mr McMullan used the case to launch a stinging attack on New Zealand's cannabis prohibition laws. The evidence brough by the police is filled with statements from the assused lambasting the law in the strogest possible language. Mr McMullan cross-examined both police witnesses at length, causing unexpected delays at the Dunedin court house.
Much of police evidence focused on the numerous cannabis related posters in the accused home. However the Judge agreed with Mr McMullan's defence that the cannabis plant discovered by police while attending to another matter, was in a common area of the house and therefore could potentially have belonged to other people who frequent the address.
Even though police had a statement implicating Mr Mcmullan in the offending, the Judge ruled that the statement was 'hersay' evidence. The Judge ruled that the attacks on the law were irrelevent to the case. While he was convinced that Mr McMullan's address was a "hot-bed of cannabis promotion," he was unable to reach the high burden of proof required to establish that the plant was in the possesion of the accused. Thus he was forced to aquit the veteran cannabis activist.