N Zealand pot lovers puff at parliament
Wellington - Police simply looked on on Thursday as about 50 protesters campaigning for cannabis to be made legal lit up joints and pipes on the grounds of the New Zealand parliament in Wellington.
"They were orderly," Sergeant Scott Miller was quoted as saying on the Stuff news website. "There was no violence."
Although possession of cannabis is illegal in New Zealand, he said the police role on Thursday was to accompany the protesters as they marched through the city to parliament, where they were to stay on the lawn at the front of the building.
"We were looking for a nice peaceful morning, which we had, which was good," he said.
Michael Appleby, who leads a party advocating legalisation, said the lack of action by the police signalled a changed official attitude since 1996 when a dozen smokers were arrested at a similar rally.