Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Majority backs cannabis law change

Majority backs cannabis law change

A majority of the public favours a change to the legal status of cannabis according to a new poll commissioned by the NZ Drug Foundation.

64 percent of respondents think possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use should be either legal (33%) or decriminalised (31%), with a minority (34%) in favour of retaining prohibition.

“This is the first time we’ve seen such a strong majority in favour of reforming New Zealand’s drug law. This tells us voters are ready for change even if law makers aren’t,” said Ross Bell, NZ Drug Foundation Executive Director.

“This poll shows that it doesn’t matter what party people back, there is consistent support to move away from the criminal justice approach to drugs,” said Ross. “It was an old political truth that any changes to drug law was a poisoned chalice, but this poll well and truly busts that myth. There’s a message here for politicians: they no longer need to fear talking about drug law reform.”

“The results confirm our sense of a shift in public mood. Voters are more aware that our 40-year-old Misuse of Drugs Act is no longer fit for purpose. I mean, when you have 62 percent of New Zealand First voters supporting sensible drug law change you know you’re on safe political ground!”

“This poll is important because it shows people understand drug law changes aren’t just a choice of either sticking with the black market status quo or lurching to sales from the corner dairy. Voters support regulation in some form, but not wide access that would come if cannabis shops were allowed.”

“I think what’s happening is voters have learnt of reforms being tried around the world and see the sky is not falling in, and that some of those alternatives could provide us a way forward.”

“The results provide a clear roadmap for our law makers: there is appetite for removing criminal penalties for low level offending such as personal possession, growing and social supply; there is overwhelming support for medical cannabis; and little support for a commercial free-for-all.”

The Drug Foundation favours the removal of criminal penalties for drug use, possession and social supply, the development of a strictly regulated cannabis market, and greater resourcing for prevention, education, treatment and other health and social interventions for people who use drugs.

“Politicians should now be able to proceed with cautious reform without fear of a voter backlash, but any new system needs to protect young people and those communities that already experience the harmful effects of drug use. Any new approach should be carefully designed to improve not worsen drug harm,” said Ross.

The government’s National Drug Policy includes a review of some offences and penalties in the Misuse of Drugs Act, which will begin in 2017.

Poll summary

Here are the statements that were put to callers.

“I’m going to read out a range of activities relating to cannabis. For each activity can you please tell me whether you think that activity should be legal, or illegal and subject to criminal penalties or illegal but decriminalised which means it is an offence punishable only by a fine, like a speeding ticket and there is no criminal record. So the three choices are legal, illegal or decriminalised.

• Possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
• Growing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
• Growing a small amount of cannabis for giving or selling to your friends
• Growing and/or using cannabis for any medical reasons such as to alleviate pain
• Growing and/or using cannabis for medical reasons if you have a terminal illness
• Selling cannabis from a store

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>

ALSO:


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>

ALSO:


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>

ALSO:

Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels