Cannabis laws are breaching the Bill of Rights Act for cannabis users, an Auckland court heard yesterday.

Dakta Green - the founder of New Zealand's first cannabis club - claims laws such as the Misuse of Drugs Act discriminate against users of the drug.

He represented himself at a pre-trial hearing at the Auckland District Court where he tried to get a stay of proceedings on charges of possession of cannabis and possession for supply.

A witness called by Green, Dr Geoff Noller, completed a PhD at Otago University last year. For his thesis, he examined the culture of cannabis use.

Dr Noller told the court cannabis was included in early drug laws more as a response to international developments than domestic concern. "Cannabis came to be included more by default."

He believed other drugs, such as opiates and LSD, were more widely used in the late 1960s and that was what much of the concern in New Zealand was focused on.

Green: "Is it your evidence that overseas evidence was used to develop our drug laws?"

Dr Noller said his position was that the overseas experience "fed into" New Zealand laws.

Many of the 80 people he interviewed for his doctorate felt authorities' treatment of them was unfair.

Crown lawyer Bruce Northwood described some of Green's arguments as "political". Judge Anne Kiernan reserved her decision on the stay application. It will be delivered next Tuesday.

- additional reporting NZPA