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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.


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