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He tried to send half-kilogram of cannabis to his parents in a lavender-scented package

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The fragrant supply attracted attention of police

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Apparently, tis the season to go easy on those who would send almost 500 grams of illegal cannabis, albeit lavender-scented to dampen the skunky scent, as a “gift” for one’s parents in the family home.

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Per an article by Open Justice, the authorities noticed the yearly stash of cannabis, about 460 grams in two vacuum-sealed bags intended for medicinal and recreational use, sent by courier because of its strong lavender odour.

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That extra attention was received somewhere along the delivery chain as the fragrant supply made its way from Nelson to the North Island this past May.

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Despite cannabis being “one of the most widely available illicit drugs in New Zealand,” it continues to be illegal. Penalties associated with cannabis range from a fine of a few hundred dollars for possession to a “14-year jail term for its supply or manufacture,” notes information from the government.

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Kiwis who support legalization came close in their bid to get it done a couple of years ago, but, ultimately, 50.7 per cent of residents voted against the proposal.

Last spring, the ganja gifter didn’t use either his own or his parent’s name on the parcel. Instead, he used an alias and the name of his father’s friend, an approach that had proved successful in past.

Unfortunately, this time around, the package went missing. That’s when its distinctive scent — or at least that’s what the accused suspects since he might have been too heavy-handed with the essential oil to mask the cargo’s true scent — attracted the unwanted attention. The man then received a call from police.

Open Justice reports he fessed up right away after an officer informed him the package had been intercepted and if he knew what the call was about.

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Beyond the scent, it may also have been that the courier firm he used had security footage that allowed the police to trace the parcel back to him.

For suspicious packages, the company has several ways to identify these, including flagging those emitting strong or strange smells.

Aramex New Zealand notes the carrier “has the sole discretion to declare certain items as prohibited items, which it does not carry under any circumstances.”

Information from the Government of Canada points out that a package might be viewed as suspicious if, among other things, it has an unfamiliar return address or none at all, emits a strange odour or noise, has excessive postage, is lopsided or uneven, or has excessive wrapping, tape or string.

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The man was ultimately charged with possession of cannabis for supply. Possession alone of a Class B substance like cannabis could result in three months imprisonment and a fine of hundreds of dollars. But the supply or manufacture of said substance carries a maximum of 14 years in prison.

However, the charge was dismissed after the accused completed a program. He told Open Justice he has suggested to his parents that they now get their cannabis on prescription.

Medicinal marijuana is legal in New Zealand. A person “must have a prescription from a doctor before you can access any medicinal cannabis products,” notes information from the Ministry of Health.”

The current medicinal cannabis scheme “enables the commercial cultivation of cannabis for the medicinal use and the manufacture and supply of cannabis-based ingredients, starting material and medicinal cannabis products.”

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