Cannabis Referendum

The government has promised a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by the 2020 election. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get real cannabis law reform.

We know our current laws do a lot of damage. Over 3,000 people clog up the criminal justice system each year with cannabis convictions. And these convictions have devastating long-term effects on travel, getting credit and employment. Yet cannabis continues to be the most commonly consumed illict drug in New Zealand.

So it’s time to take cannabis out of hands of the black market, stop harmful convictions, break down the barriers to getting help and minimise the problems caused by drug use.

Why is legalising cannabis the right way to go?

A tightly regulated scheme based is the best way to protect people from the harms of cannabis. The right system can:

Minimise harm

  • Reduce the pipeline into the criminal justice system
  • Reduce the number number of people getting convictions
  • Drug dealers don’t check IDs. So we can better control access to young people within a legal system
  • The current cannabis law creates stigma and puts up barriers for people needing help
  • Influence people’s consumption so they use smaller amounts and less often

Respect human rights

  • Have penalties that are in proportion to the harm caused to others

Safer communities with less drug-related crime

  • Reduce the black market and profit
  • Reduce peoples’ access to drug dealers who might be pushing more harmful substances as well
  • Police resources spent on better things

Equity for Māori

  • Māori are disproportionationtely affected by the current laws
  • Māori are disproportionately impacted by drug harms and get poorer access to treatment

Reduce the black market and tax cannabis

  • This money can be used to invest in much-needed addictions treatment

Community development

  • Promote small-scale community growing
  • Profits from cannabis cultivation can go back into the community

Legalising cannabis also makes sound economic sense. An independent economic analysis reported cannabis would save New Zealand’s criminal justice sector $6-13 million every year. And generate $185 - $240 million of new revenue. This new revenue would more than pay for extra investment in health New Zealand desperately needs.  

If you have similar goals to us, we hope you’ll sign up to our campaign.