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We all want a happier, healthier, more equal New Zealand. For us, that means treating cannabis use as a health and social issue, not a criminal one.

Most people who use cannabis do so without harm to themselves or others. But for some, cannabis can have a serious negative impact. Those people, and their families, are the ones who deserve our focus. Prohibition has failed them. Control of cannabis has been left to organised crime – and the black market has not done a good job of protecting our health interests. We want the government to take back control.

At the general election in 2020, we’ll all get to vote on whether cannabis should be legalised and regulated. The Government is going about it the right way. They have already released a framework that focuses on improving health outcomes and protecting young people, and they're drafting a bill which the public will vote on. Taking control of cannabis provides our overview of their proposals, and discusses key areas we think they should include.

Want to know more? Download a copy.

Taking control of Cannabis ( PDF 2.8mb )

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Taking control of cannabis introduction

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Our Executive Director Ross Bell is a parent -

That's why he thinks this is so important.
Here's what he has to say.

If you’re like me, you’d prefer that your kids never use cannabis. But you’ll also be aware there is a good chance they will at some point.

Despite it being illegal – and perhaps partly because of it – around half of all New Zealanders do.

I want the best for my kids as they get older and the same for all young New Zealanders. If they do decide to use cannabis when they are older, I would much rather they didn’t buy it from organised crime, who might also sell them synnies or meth. I’d rather they bought from government-regulated stores where products are packaged in single-serve portions with maximum potency levels and health warnings on every packet. I want them to have their ID checked at the door and be turned away if they are under 20.

I want a world in which cannabis looks as boring as possible and where the proceeds from taxes go straight back into healthcare and treatment rather than funding the lifestyles of organised crime. That’s the responsible way to protect young people and help those who struggle with their drug use."

Ross Bell


Download Taking control of cannabis: A model for responsible regulation

Taking control of Cannabis ( PDF 2.8mb )

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