A side order of facts & Vic students leading the charge - you're in the loop with #HealthNotHandcuffs

Tēnā koutou katoa, hello,

This time next year we’ll know who won the General Election and whether New Zealand voted to legalise cannabis at the referendum. Will we be able to look back and say we threw everything we could at the vote yes campaign?

The referendum can bring about change that will benefit tens of thousands of lives. Last year 1,798 people were convicted for low-level cannabis offences. This includes possession of a small quantity of the drug or even a utensil. Over the last decade, 6,583 people were sent to prison for a cannabis offence.

No-one should be arrested, convicted or imprisoned for using cannabis. None. Zero.  

Help us win the referendum. Now’s the time to get active.

Stephen Blyth
on behalf of #HealthNotHandcuffs

Vic students have kicked off their legalise cannabis campaign

Students at VUW flocked to a public talk organised by the recently launched Yes 2020 campaign.

Over 250 students crowded into the Hub on 30th September to hear the facts and find out how they can be involved. Topics covered included history of the war on drugs, the collateral damage caused by prohibition and what to expect in the lead up to the referendum.

Tamatha Paul, President of VUWSA, wants to see students actively involved because the current laws negatively affect many students. 

On the rostrum were speakers from Health Not Handcuff partners: Tania Sawicki Mead from JustSpeak, and Jack McDonald from the NZ Drug Foundation. Green Party spokesperson on drug law reform Chlōe Swarbrick popped over from Parliament. And Emily Beausoleil from VUW ran a workshop on how to have persuasive conversations around controversial subjects such as the upcoming referendum.

We’d love to see more activity like this around the country. Sing out if we can support you in any way to get a group set up, or an event happening.

Get a side order of facts

It’s no joke when people say that there are no ID checks under the black market Regulating cannabis would give us tools to limit youth access to cannabis that we just don’t have under prohibition. In a new factsheet we lay out what rules we can wrap around cannabis to make sure it’s all about adult-use.

We’ve got more factsheets in the pipeline – let us know what you want to hear more about.

Download the facts and dive into the debates. Once you’ve got the arguments down – go out and convince your mates. Get the Youth and cannabis fact sheet from our Resources page.



Run a stall in your hood

Every weekend around the country there are dozens of local markets. Scoring some greens is the top priority for most shoppers, but many will be keen to stop to inform themselves about the cannabis referendum.

Can you help to organise or attend a stall? We’ve got local organisers ready to go in Auckland Palmerston and Whanganui. As well as local stalls, we plan to be at some bigger events.

Let us know if you want to take the lead or help out via our We need you! page.

We need you!


Weekend reading

Take a few minutes to dig deeper into the issues.

Five countries, five different ways of controlling cannabis. Read Alice Webb-Liddall’s piece on what’s the story in USA, Canada, Uruguay, Netherlands and Australia. Read: Around the world in five cannabis markets

US justice reform activists Deborah Small and asha bandele spoke to Teuila Fuatai about how drug reform can reverse their effects on minority communities. Read: Colonialism, drug laws and incarceration: a tragedy in three parts