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Our thinking is based on evidence and research from New Zealand and around the world about the best way to reduce the harms caused by both drugs and our current drug law.

‘Whakawātea’ means to clear, free up, cleanse or purify spiritually, while ‘huarahi’ is a pathway, road or track. The title of our model drug law is intended to signify a fresh start for the debate on drug policy and a sense of movement towards a better future.

The key to moving towards an Aotearoa free from drug harm is to start treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. Our model drug law proposes:

  • Removing criminal penalties for the possession, use and social supply of all drugs
  • Developing a strictly regulated cannabis market
  • Putting more resources into prevention, education and treatment.

The document is intended to be a conversation starter. We'd love to know what you think.

Download Whakawātea te Huarahi (or order a hardcopy)

Model Drug Law: your feedback

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We want our model drug law to be as good as it can be. Please tell us what you think. Are our proposals workable? What parts would you change and why? Read Article

Opinion: Dear Politicians: drug policy matters in election year

nz parliament beehive

In this message to New Zealand politicians, Kali Mercier, the Drug Foundation’s Senior Advocacy and Policy Adviser, explains why drug law reform should be an important election issue this year and why politicians need no longer fear that supporting change will lose them political traction. Read Article


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