Ahead of the cannabis legislation and control referendum, Justice Minister Andrew Little revealed he had "tried it a few times" when asked by The AM Show newsreader Amanda Gillies last week.

So, the minister responsible for the government ministry that convicts thousands of people each year for illicit drugs convictions has been a dope smoker himself.

Does that mean he's a hypocrite?

Surprisingly, the justice minister went further and made an interesting confession about the company he did drugs with when he was a new lawyer.

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He said his last experience of using cannabis was when he "went around to somebody's house, and lawyers, QCs, a judge, were all there and passing around a joint".

Say what?

Righty-o, the justice minister just said that when he was a new lawyer, he smoked cannabis with a judge.

Now that's a problem: a judge of the Courts of New Zealand was consuming illicit drugs.

According to the Drug Foundation, each year thousands of people receive cannabis convictions through our courts, and hundreds of people are imprisoned.

Is it possible that some of those convicted and/or imprisoned people appeared before a judge who was participating in the same illegal activity?

Well, we won't know now, will we? Unless, of course, the justice minister tells us.

He has just publicly stated that he smoked dope – an illegal drug – with a judge of the Courts of New Zealand.

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That's a serious allegation the justice minister has made.

Andrew Little now has an obligation – as justice minister – to tell us the name of the judge he shared a "joint" with.

Failure to do so means that it could be anyone who was a judge in the 1990s – when Little was a young lawyer – and a lot of them are still around today.

And what about those who were convicted and perhaps imprisoned for cannabis offences during the 1990s?

Should they feel aggrieved because a hypocritical judge was indulging in drug activities while punishing others for doing the same thing?

Now that's what I call a 'conflict of interest'.

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Let's not forget, it's very possible that the judge is still sitting on the bench today.

Who could it be?

There are other questions that are relevant too.

Did the judge supply the old boys club with the cannabis that was consumed at the house party?

And if so, where did the judge source it from?

In other words, are there links to the criminal underworld?

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Once again, we'll never know.

Minister Little, it's up to you to tell us.

If you don't want to be a 'nark' then the only other option, as minister of justice, is to resign.

Over to you, Minister.

- Steve Elers is as an academic at a university in Palmerston North and writes a weekly column on social and cultural issues. His views are his own and do not represent the unnamed university. He can be contacted via his website: www.SteveElers.com