[ Skip to main content ]

Sanho Tree interview | NZ Drug Foundation

When Sanho Tree visited Aotearoa New Zealand in February 2016 he grabbed everyone’s attention by sharing many counter-intuitive responses to drug prohibition.

“We're near record levels of failure, so it's time to discard policies that have proved over and over they don't work,” the Institute of Policy Studies Fellow told audiences in Auckland and Wellington.

Instead of pursuing failed prohibition, Sanho encouraged us to look as broadly as possible to find effective responses.

“In the end, there is no substitute for building a healthy society. Drug abuse is often a symptom of larger problems,” Sanho argues.

Promoting a public health approach very much in accord with the Drug Foundation’s philosophy, Sanho says we can reduce the damage from drugs and the war on drugs by keeping principles of harm reduction central to what we do.

We are grateful to Sanho for spending some time here in Aotearoa and answering the trickiest questions we could devise. We’d also like to acknowledge seminar co-host Hāpai Te Hauora and the other presenters. At the Splore festival Russell Brown generated much dialogue about drug policy as a part of the Listening Lounge.

A New Deal seminars

Sanho spoke at these two workshops:

  • Monday 22 February 2016 at Manurewa Marae, Auckland
  • Tuesday 23 February 2016 at NZ Drug Foundation office, Wellington 

A New Deal seminar photos

Coverage of Sanho Tree visit

Drug Foundation interview with Sanho (video)

Sanho's presentation at Manurewa Marae (video)

Has the war on drugs failed? RNZ Nine to Noon interview

Live chat on stuff.co.nz

Interview and story on Maori TV (start 10 minute mark)

Share this article:
Share:

Related See more

Opinion: What we know about drugs in NZ in 2020

Kali Mercier sets out what we know in 2020, and outlines how the need to collect accurate information has never been greater.

MoS nov 2019 thumbnailjack in canada

Lessons from the Canadian cannabis legalisation

Indigenous Canadians have been dissatisfied with the way cannabis legalisation has failed to work for them.

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail rally

Unify rally to end our drug war

A glimpse of what happened at Auckland Town Hall at the Unify Rally on Monday 16 September. Photographer Katrina Elton was on hand to captu...

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail prescriptions image

Unawareness and cost block cannabis prescriptions

Although medicinal cannabis was made legal in New Zealand, the medical profession has been slow to widely adopt the new option. Russell Brow...

e substance newsletter promotional thumbnail

Sign-up for email updates

The latest New Zealand drug news, analysis and updates from us.

Subscribe now

Did You Know resources thumbnail

Did You Know

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

Learn more

Back to top