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Advertising Standards Authority Rules In Drug Foundation’s Favour On Cannabis Referendum Campaign

“We’re pleased with the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision regarding complaints received about our ‘Vote Yes On Our Terms’ cannabis control referendum campaign”, said Ross Bell, Drug Foundation Executive Director.

“We always understood that this has the potential to be a polarising topic. On that basis, our campaign is evidence-based and carefully considered, adhering to all advertising guidelines around advocacy and also the Electoral Commission’s rules around referendum advertising.

“We’re advocating for a yes vote based on our experience as a public health organisation on the front line of harm reduction. Our position is based on solid New Zealand data and evidence around cannabis, and the fact that the Government’s proposed Cannabis Control and Legalisation Bill is designed to reduce cannabis harm and protect public health.

“Our advertising seeks to inform New Zealanders about the factors they should consider when voting in the referendum on 19 September. While the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s position is for ‘Vote Yes’, we’re encouraging people to find out more so they can also make an informed choice, whatever that may be. More information can be found on our website onourterms.org.nz.

“Only one of the complaints was upheld, that the identity of the advertiser on the television ad was not clear. We will make any necessary changes required, and have these checked by the Electoral Commission, so that when the ad plays again on television, viewers can be clear that the Drug Foundation backs the campaign.”

The full decision can be found on the ASA website: https://www.asa.co.nz/decisions/

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