Rally Wrap and new drug reform report - You're in the loop

Kia ora hello, 

Talk about making a statement! The five speakers at Monday’s Unify Rally laid down the big reasons why we’ve got to vote yes next year, and why reconsidering how we respond to drugs is overdue.

As asha bandele, activist and author, put it: you cannot talk about the war on drugs in isolation from wider societal issues.

People are stepping up to demand that outdated prohibition be replaced. Thanks to everyone who came along on Monday night. Plus a big shout out to the 35 volunteers on the night and everyone who offered to help in the future.

There are lots of ways that you can pick up #HealthNotHandcuffs and run with it. Let us know how we can help you.

Stephen Blyth

for #HealthNotHandcuffs Crew



Unify Rally

"There is no country on the planet that doesn't use drug laws to target whichever is their marginalised population," Deborah Small, Executive Director of Break the Chains (USA), said ahead of the Unify Rally.

It’s a tough truth to grapple with. But the data shows that this is the case as much in New Zealand as everywhere else around the world. Khylee Quince, from AUT’s Law School, outlined the ways Māori are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, convicted and jailed. The flow-on effects last long past the end of any sentence.

We have every right to feel angry and let down. But as Julia Whaipooti clearly stated: all the more reason to push for change. We must do our utmost to win the cannabis referendum and push for wider change.

See our summary of the Unify Rally, some more photos and links to related news items. Be sure to sign up – don’t just get mad, get involved.



Jurnalist Patrick Gower sites on a couch engulfed in smoke

Documentary “On Weed” Reviewed

It’s been hard to miss the hype about journalist Paddy Gower’s two-part documentary series on cannabis. He put himself out there to help New Zealanders understand the issues. The shows were colourful and thought-provoking, but not entirely accurate. See these two write-ups to get a fresh take on what he said.

420 stars: Chlöe Swarbrick reviews Paddy Gower’s new cannabis doco - The Spinoff

A fun but flawed weed documentary - Russell Brown, publicaddress.net

You can watch Part 2 on-demand at TV3

Watch now


close up of cannabis buds and a judge's gavel

New report: “Taking control of cannabis”

“I want a world in which cannabis looks as boring as possible and where the proceeds from taxes go straight back into healthcare and treatment rather than funding the lifestyles of organised crime. That’s the responsible way to protect young people and help those who struggle with their drug use.”

This is from the introduction of Taking control of cannabis, a new report put out by the NZ Drug Foundation, one of the organisations behind Health Not Healthcufffs. Dive into the detail. The report covers every aspect of what rules should be put in place after the yes vote.

Download a copy of the report from the Drug Foundation

Read Now