Waitemata police say they don't prosecute low-level P dealers anymore, instead they direct them to rehabilitation and other addiction services.
In an RNZ podcast series on Kiwis and drugs Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown says its a judgement call.
"It's a case by case. Who are they selling to? Are they selling to kids? It's not a blind eye thing but if they're selling to students then they need to be front of the court.
"Whereas if they're selling to an adult mate next door just to finance their own supply, well maybe we need to get into him and get into that group and have that conversation about what we can do to him and his mates to stop them from using."
You can hear the rest of the interview with Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown in episode four of From Zero, a podcast series on Kiwis and drugs, made for RNZ by Russell Brown. You can also listen in tonight after the 10pm news bulletin.