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Support for cannabis law reform still high

Support for cannabis law reform still high

Public support still remains high for moving away from destructive policies that criminalise cannabis users, says the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Spokesperson Chris Fowlie said a poll released by the New Zealand Drug Foundation asked the wrong question, and could not be compared to earlier polls, as the DominionPost had erroneously done today.
"The latest poll asked whether cannabis laws should be made 'tougher' or 'more liberal', but previous polls had asked whether people wanted continued prohibition, decriminalisation or legalisation. If you change the question, of course you will change the result. That's a no-brainer," said Mr Fowlie.
"A previous poll by UMR, in 2000, found sixty per cent supported either decriminalisation or legalisation. This was described at the time by the Dominion as showing that supporting the existing law was 'not a vote winner'. 
"If they had asked the same question we think they would find there remains strong support for cannabis law reform. There is very little public appetite for arresting and jailing responsible adults who use cannabis in the privacy of their own home, yet that is the daily reality of the existing cannabis laws.
"Many people want access to cannabis made tougher, but prohibition merely provides an illusion of toughness. Behind the facade it is very easy for minors to access cannabis whenever they want. Age ID is not requested, and buyers are often put in contact with other drugs.
"If we seriously want tougher cannabis laws, the best way to do that is to regulate and licence it's sale, including strict enforcement of a purchase age."
- ENDS -

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