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Policy and Advocacy

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Medical cannabis Q&A

This medical cannabis question and answer (Q&A) was prepared to provide clear and accurate information about the use and status of medical cannabis in New Zealand. 

Updated: December 2015.

Viewpoints: Is the jury still out on e-cigarettes?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Short of a pill that will magically take addiction away, are e-cigarettes the best smoking cessation device since the humble patch? Or are they just another dangerous addiction,
a gateway device for children or, worse, a sneaky attempt by Big Tobacco to renormalise smoking?

Opinion: A nation in denial?

Monday, November 30, 2015

It’s coming on Christmas, and with it, will come the usual increase in alcohol and other substance-induced family violence. Being good Kiwis, though, it’s something we won’t talk about. Nathan Frost, Special Projects Advisor, New Zealand Society on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, turns to a popular children’s folk story that may help us to understand why.

Director’s cut

Monday, November 30, 2015

Did you see the furor last month with the leaked United Nations’ report on drug decriminalisation? It had all the hallmarks of a great conspiracy: a shocking secret report suppressed by sinister diplomatic pressure, revealed to the world thanks only to the valiant whistleblowing of Sir Richard Branson.

Longer course on alcohol and other drugs

Monday, November 30, 2015

Teaching high school students about drugs and alcohol before they are of legal age is having a positive effect on students at Taieri College. In the third of the Whole School series, Beck Eleven reports on teaching and wider school culture.

Guest editorial: Treatment as prevention? How about prevention as prevention?!

Monday, November 30, 2015

This article by New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme National Manager Charles Henderson follows on from the issues raised by Russell Brown in ‘The Cruel C’, an article featured in our last edition. While Henderson understands the current interest in treatment as prevention for hepatitis C, he says we should remain focused on fundamental and ongoing primary prevention activities to reduce the numbers of people affected by blood-borne viruses.

Māori MPs reconsider drug law

Monday, November 30, 2015

A succession of reports show Māori are affected significantly more than Pākehā by our drug laws. Reducing harm caused by the laws themselves seems something the government is now willing to address, but there remain widely varying views on what must actually be done in terms of policy. Russell Brown looks into the issue and presents the views of four Māori MPs.

Has NZ’s drug law passed its use by date?

Monday, November 30, 2015

A lot can happen in 40 years. The changes we’ve witnessed in Kiwi society are profound. As the spot the difference images below show, this extends to the place of drugs in daily life. Yet the Misuse of Drugs Act (1975) is essentially the same as the day it was passed. Some of the costs of the legislation not keeping up are shared in this special anniversary feature.

Early days for UNGASS 2016 declaration

Monday, November 30, 2015

Preparations are well under way for next April’s UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, the outcome of which will be a “short, substantive, concise and action-oriented outcome document comprising a set of operational recommendations”.

The discussion is currently focused on what the outcome document should say. Various nations, regional bodies and members of civil society have submitted their proposals for what they would like to see in the “zero draft”.