Local police raided an unlicensed cannabis club in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday, seizing a vending machine that dispensed marijuana and arresting four people.
Also seized in the raid were $27,000 in cash, 700 grams of cannabis, and various drug paraphernalia, reported Digital Spy.
Prior to the raid, the vending machine, which dispensed one-gram bags of cannabis for a $20 donation, was featured in a news article in Auckland Now, though police were already aware of the club's activities, having monitored the club for weeks, and a response was imminent.
The club, formerly known as the Daktory, named after its owner Dakta Green, was established in 2008 as a cannabis-advocacy organization, though it became known as a place where marijuana was distributed and consumed.
Cannabis clubs such as those that exist in the Netherlands, are not legal in New Zealand, and the drug is classified as Class C, which can carry a maximum 14-year prison sentence for distributing.
Green, 61, who changed his name from Ken Morgan in 2008, was in jail at the time of the raid, serving a 23-month sentence for possessing, selling and permitting the consumption of cannabis at the club.
After Green's conviction in June 2011, the Daktory shut down and reopened as the headquarters for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Despite the name change, police suspected that the space was still operating in very much the same way as it had before.
NORML president Julian Crawford was aware of the impending police raid, but was described as relaxed about it, telling Auckland Now that he understood authorities had a job to do.
In the same article, Crawford has talked about the vending machine as an example of how things could be'' if cannabis was legalized. He described it as a big draw to the organization's headquarters, adding that he and other members used it as a means to get people more involved in cannabis advocacy.
''We want to grow the number of activists we've got, not just be like a tinnie house,'' Crawford told Auckland Now.