[ Skip to main content ]

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the general election will be held on Saturday 19 September 2020. That means New Zealanders will have a chance to make history, and replace cannabis prohibition with an approach that puts health and wellbeing first.

Executive Director Ross Bell says it’s about taking control, after 40 years years of failed drug policy. “We know that cannabis is already readily available and accessible. This is our chance to take control out of the hands of the black market, stop wasting police resources, and provide better support for those people who need it.”

The Drug Foundation is calling on supporters to do their bit, by making sure they vote in the electoral referendum and getting behind Health Not Handcuffs.

But it will take more than just your vote, says Bell. “This is going to take a concerted, nationwide effort. We need every one of our supporters to convince friends and whānau to get out and vote too.”

Health Not Handcuffs Campaign Manager Renee Shingles says it’s people who will win this. “We are well-placed to win, but it'll take a lot of people getting actively behind our movement for change. There’s no time like the present to commit to doing your bit to win this important vote.”

Here are the important dates to put in your calendar:

  • 2 September 2020: Overseas voting starts
  • 7 September 2020: Advance voting starts
  • 19 September 2020: Election / Referendum day (Last day to cast your vote)
  • 2 October 2020: Preliminary Referendum results
  • 9 October 2020: Final Referendum results

It's easy to enrol to vote.

The Government will release the final bill that you will be voting on in March 2020, which will be followed by an education campaign explaining what's in the bill. Until then you can see what the Draft bill includes here.

With 33 weeks to go, now is the time to get activated and work towards treating drug reform as a public health issue instead of a law enforcement issue.

You can play an important part by volunteering, making a much needed donation, and/or telling us your story about why this issue is so important to you.


Related See more

thumbnail news

A Māori perspective on the cannabis referendum

Our expert panel agreed that legalisation would be far better for Māori than the status quo, but that any law change needed to be first and ...

The case for YES - a conversation with the Global Commission on Drug Policy [Recording]

The Helen Clark Foundation and the New Zealand Drug Foundation hosted the Global Commission on Drug Policy for an event in support of a YES ...

thumbnail news

Chief Science Advisor's report strengthens the case for legalisation

PM's Chief Science Adviser has made key findings supporting the view that legalisation is the best public health response to cannabis use.

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail on weed

No is a vote to maintain Aotearoa’s status quo

Some say cannabis law is a tool of race and class oppression. At the same time, many people with terminal illness or chronic pain have found...

DYK stock guys 260x260px

Did You Know

Conversation tools for parents, caregivers and youth workers to help your young person make safer decisions about drugs

Learn more

Footer Banner 260x260

It's time to control cannabis

There are many good reasons to Vote Yes in the cannabis control referendum. Find out why.

Learn more

Back to top