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Poilcy Landing Page

Policy & Advocacy

This section includes details of the areas that the NZ Drug Foundation is actively working on....

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What we do

Get an overview of the NZ Drug Foundation's work....

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2011 Through the maze: making treatment better symposium

Experts from around New Zealand, and from overseas, gathered in Wellington on Tuesday 30 August for a Drug Policy Symposium organised by NZ ......

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High time for good drug policy

The New Zealand Drug Foundation today called for all political parties to stop treating drug issues as a publicity platform and instead deve......

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2013 International Drug Policy Symposium. Through the maze: Cannabis and Health

Through the Maze: Cannabis and Health International Drug Policy Symposium brought together some of the best minds about cannabis and health ......

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Drug Foundation backs medical cannabis

The New Zealand Drug Foundation today released its policy on medicinal cannabis, supporting the medical use of cannabis under a trial regime......

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Medicinal cannabis oral submissions webinar

Webinar: Tips and advice on how to give an oral submission...

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Helen clark

New GCDP report, feat. Rt Hon Helen Clark    

Helen Clark: Decriminalising drugs is the “hardest of all issues.”...

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Experts to debate New Zealand drug laws

Drug policy makers, health professionals and politicians meet in Wellington next week to discuss the future of New Zealand's drug laws and p......

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New drug policy needed to prevent young New Zealanders dying

A report released today about the deaths of young New Zealanders from poisoning shows the need for a new drug policy, the New Zealand Drug F......

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Drug policy symposium an unprecedented event

Organisers are calling this week’s Healthy Drug Law Symposium the most significant drug policy discussion in New Zealand’s history....

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International Indigenous Drug Policy Network Launched

An new international indigenous network for drug law reform was launched on 27 November at Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – The Eighth Gatheri......

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New report highlights drug policy trends

A new State of the Nation report we released in January 2019 shows that while we are doing well in some areas, there is massive room for imp......

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2009 Through the maze: healthy drug law, international drug policy symposium

The Through the Maze: Healthy Drug Law symposium was held in Wellington to discuss a number of drug-related local issues, including the revi......

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2017 Symposium Speaker Biographies

Detailed on this page are the biographies for the speakers at the 2017 Through the maze symposium....

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2017 Parliamentary Drug Law Symposium

Read about what happened at Through the maze: Healthy drug law parliamentary symposium, 5-6 July 2017....

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UNGASS 2016 - as it happened

The biggest global conversation on drug policy in the last 15 years was run by the United Nations in New York City 19-20 April 2016....

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International symposium to address fake pot

Questions about what exactly is synthetic cannabis and the latest research on pot imitations will be addressed at the New Zealand Drug Found......

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Briefing to the Incoming Parliament 2017-2020

New approach to dealing with drug use by HNZ tenants a welcome move

The Drug Foundation welcomes the Government’s announcement that Housing New Zealand will adopt a new policy when it detects methamphetamine ......

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Drug Policy Roundtable challenged to avoid rhetoric and ignorance

Significant harm reduction to the people of New Zealand or simplistic political rhetoric. Those were presented as the alternatives to attend......

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The Great Cannabis Debate

Two heavyweight international drug policy experts will be debating whether a legalised market for cannabis is the best option to reduce harm......

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mos oct 2017 drug maze

Enlightenment at the end of the maze

Our Through the Maze symposium in July was a starting point for change....

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2nd International Symposium on Drugs and Driving

The 2nd International Symposium on Drugs and Driving was hosted in Wellington to confront the challenges of responding to drug impaired driv......

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nov 07 end cannabis prohibition

Let's talk about pot

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Drug Policy Briefing to the Incoming Parliament 2014

The Briefing to the Incoming Parliament (BIP), a policy brief prepared by the Drug Foundation for all parliamentarians, was publicly release......

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It’s high time we talk about pot

Bud, chronic, dak, dope, ganja, grass, maryjane, reefer and skunk. We all know the slang terms for cannabis. Half of us have tried it, and o......

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Muddled thinking behind drug policy criticism

Wellington coroner Garry Evans has ignored best practice and a wealth of international evidence in his criticism of New Zealand’s harm-minim......

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Portugal's Dr Dr João Goulão

Mythbusters: Drugs are legal in Portugal

After massively reforming its drug policy at the turn of the century, Portugal stands as a global leader of evidencebased policy grounded on......

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q station

Drug policy talk at Q Station, Sydney

Being sequestered at an abandoned quarantine station in Manly provided the perfect location for some deep thinking about drug policy researc......

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Drug Law Reform

The Misuse of Drugs Act is outdated. It is time for modern drug law fit for the the 21st Century. The Drug Foundation is working for change....

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Drug treatment policy often misguided says criminology professor

Overcoming problem drug use has much more to do with addressing socio-economic factors than physiological or psychological addiction, a Drug......

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Harsh cannabis laws defy good sense

Drug legislation and policy tend to focus too much on enforcement and tough-talk and too little on evidence about what really works, a visit......

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Alcohol & drug policies

An employer should provide employees with the highest level of protection from risks, as is reasonably practicable. Dangerous behaviour resu......

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Drug Foundation supports Minister's drug policy process

The Drug Foundation welcomed drug policy minister Jim Anderton’s announcement today to consult with the wider community before changing the ......

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Two sides of Canadian drug policy: 2018 AGM talk

Get an update on Canadian drug policy at our AGM, from leading scientist Professor Benedikt Fischer who very recently arrived in Auckland fr......

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Mythbusters: How attractive is the Swedish model?

A 'drug-free society' is an attractive proposition, and one pursued with vigor under Sweden's drug policy. Mythbusters sizes up the model to......

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Practicing a public health approach to drugs: 2016 Speaker and Soup season

In 2016 we are finally seeing signs that public health, social support and drug policy do mix....

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Indigenous drug policy at the UN

Gilbert Taurua highlights indegnous drug issues at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indegnous Issues...

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Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs - public talk

Learn about recommendations from the Global Commission on Drug Policy in it's new report "Regulation: the responsible control opf drugs"...

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Membership

Join the NZ Drug Foundation. Find out about membership packages....

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Helen Clark joins global drug policy commission

Former Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark as the 25th member of the highly respected Global Commission on Drug Policy. The appointment is a w......

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Privacy & Cookies

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Matters of Substance

Our regular Matters of Substance magazine is one way we share the best writing on drug policy and practice based on the best evidence availa......

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2017 Symposium Video

Watch the presentations from the 2017 Through the maze: Healthy drug law symposium....

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Cannabis and health: 20 years down the track

Twenty years on from the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s first cannabis and health symposium, Professor Wayne Hall is returning to New Zealand......

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Taking the lead on drug regulation

Ruth Dreifuss and Helen Clark of the Global Commission on Drug Policy speak about the responsible control of drugs...

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Law & health must co-operate to reduce drug harm

A visiting British drug expert told the Healthy Drug Law Symposium in Wellington today that health and law enforcement professionals would b......

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kofi annan

Q&A: Kofi Annan

United Nations Secretary-General and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Kofi Annan took time to answer questions from Matters of Substance a......

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About Us

Find out what the NZ Drug Foundation stands for, our plans and achievements, and who is involved....

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More of the same won't work - Sanho Tree visit report

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

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Addiction treatment in New Zealand requires urgent change

Addiction treatment in New Zealand has been seriously underfunded for many decades, National Addiction Centre Director Professor Doug Sellma......

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russell brand

Q&A: Russell Brand

On the tenth anniversary of his recovery, comedian Russell Brand invited Matters of Substance backstage to the final show of his Australia a......

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Model Drug Law to 2020

The Drug Foundation is calling for a complete overhaul of our drug laws. A new model drug law sets out our thinking....

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Yury Fedotov

Why the UN needs civil society

Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime writes about the important role of civil society....

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davidnutt

Drug Foundation to host David Nutt in Wellington

The New Zealand Drug Foundation is hosting Professor David Nutt for a lunchtime presentation on ‘Drugs without the hot air: minimising the h......

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Kiwis join drug policy hui in Washington, November 2015

A delegation of Drug Foundation staff joined 1500 other people from 70 countries at the 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, he......

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UN meeting

International drug reform is happening – just not as we expected

Reform of international drug policy seems inevitable, but questions remain. “How broad will the reforms be and how long before a new stable ......

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State of the Nation 2018

The Drug Foundation’s State of the Nation report is a snapshot of how New Zealand is dealing with alcohol and other drugs. . The 2018 repor......

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Drug law reform stacks up in dollar terms - new report

Cost benefit analysis undertaken by Sense Partners shows that the benefits of a package of drug law reform measures will outweight the costs......

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Portugal: putting health and welfare at the centre of drug policy

With solid evidence showing punitive approaches to drugs do not work, the question that arises is what to do instead? In this first instalme......

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Drug Foundation board vacancies: apply now

We are looking for new Trustees to join our voluntary board. Expressions of interest close Monday 6 May 2019....

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Communities need to re-think drug attitudes

Not my family, and never my child. Tony Trimingham says that, like most people, he knew little about drug-taking and thought it wasn't somet......

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Drug Foundation launches alcohol action plan

The New Zealand Drug Foundation today launched a comprehensive plan to reduce the harm that alcohol causes in New Zealand society....

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New Zealand Police Association President Greg O’Connor

Q&A: Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor has seen a lot of change since he was elected President of the NZ Police Association....

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Replace drug convictions with health referrals: Drug Foundation launches new model drug law

We're proposing a complete overhaul of New Zealand's drug laws. This is a start....

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Mythbusters: Is cannabis legal in the Netherlands?

Mythbusters takes a closer look at the nuanced drug policy of the Netherlands and finds that, just because you might not get arrested for po......

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On the road to reducing drug harm

The Drug Foundation was delighted to bring together a wide mix of people to deliberate on the intricacies of drug-driving policy at Te Whare......

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Briefing to the Incoming Parliament 2017

In December 2017 all MPs were sent a comprehensive briefing setting out drug policy priorities for the next three years. Download the full r......

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New Zealand needs to do more to tackle overdose problem

Nearly every week in New Zealand a person dies from an opioid overdose. If you're not aware of our overdose problem, you're not alone - we d......

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Members of the Global Commission on Drugs with the 2011 petition to end the War on Drugs

Guest editorial: Towards global drug policy pathways that work

Ahead of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2016, the Global Commission on Drugs proposes a new drug control regim......

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Drug testing

It is important for employers and employees to understand their rights, responsibilities, and facts when it comes to drug testing....

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Opinion: A brave, new drug policy

The National Drug Policy 2015-2020 is finally out. How does it stack up? Drug Foundation Principal Policy Advisor Andrew Zielinski looks at ......

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This is the place to sign-up to regular updates from the Drug Foundation, sent by email. Be informed, sign-up!...

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What alternative to the War on Drugs?

Drug control in the form of prohibition or a ‘War on Drugs’ has been a spectacular failure, a visiting American expert told a symposium in W......

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Alcohol review over promises, under delivers

The Drug Foundation today described the government’s alcohol policy proposals as feeble, saying they are a soft political response to a seri......

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Step into the light

Cover story summary: Personal stories of drug use, highlighting consumer perspectives...

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Where do you stand?

To keep up pressure for a move to healthy and just ways of dealing with drug problems, New Zealanders are invited to join the global Support......

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Economics of drug law reform

We've always known that drug law reform is socially responsible. Now we know it's fiscally responsible too....

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Mexican president Felipe Calderon

The Drug War in retreat?

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for the global War on Drugs? Attacks on drug war ideology are coming from all quarters, argues Ru......

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Q&A: Costing drug policy options

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub talks to Emma Espiner about a new report that makes the case for a health-based approach to drug policy as not onl......

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Psychoactive Substances Bill welcomed

The New Zealand Drug Foundation welcomes the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Bill, New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Directo......

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Why sensible suggestions on drug law should not be ignored

The government’s initial response to the Law Commission’s report on drug law reform is disappointing. Minister of Justice Simon Power’s decl......

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Why Maori must lead on drug law reform

When will world leaders, politicians and community leaders admit that our punitive approach to the drug problem isn't working?...

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It’s going to take more than a referendum to sort out NZ’s drugs issues

In a new policy briefing sent to MPs, the Drug Foundation lays out drug policy priorities for the next three years....

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feb 2009 ketamine

Mythbusters: Ketamine: not just for horses, also for badgers

The media's delight in describing ketamine as a horse tranquiliser is doing nothing to help convey a clear understanding of relative drug ha......

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All eyes on Canada: What we can learn

Kali Mercier travelled to this year’s ISSDP Conference in Vancouver recently, to see how their approach to drug policy can help inform our o......

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Australian Greens leader Dr Richard Di-Natale

Q&A: Dr Richard Di Natale

Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale worked as doctor before being elected a senator in 2011. It's no surprise, then, that he is a str......

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Disclaimer Policy

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british mp norman baker

Q&A: A UK Liberal Democrat talks drug policy

Just after his resignation as Minister of State for the Home Office responsible for the drugs portfolio in November 2014, British MP Norman ......

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USA drug policy in the early days of Trump

We’re just a few months into the new Trump-led America, and while some of his initial appointments are troubling, there’s no clear indicatio......

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1-day symposium: Cannabis Conundrums and Other Drug Policy Challenge

A one day course exploring what it means to put in place a public health approach to drugs, and how do we get there. Wellington, 26 February......

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Medicinal Cannabis Scheme guide for submitters

The deadline for submissions on the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme is 7 August 2019. We produced a guide to help patients, carers and whānau mak......

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International spotlight on drug driving

The lack of a thorough understanding about the complex issue of drugs and driving must not be an excuse for inaction – this is the theme of ......

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Conflict over cannabis shows need for conversation

New Zealand needs to have a serious conversation about the health and social impacts of cannabis in light of a recent survey which found con......

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Opinion: Dear Politicians: drug policy matters in election year

In this message to New Zealand politicians, Kali Mercier, the Drug Foundation’s Senior Advocacy and Policy Adviser, explains why drug law re......

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Where now for opponents of cannabis law reform?

Steve Rolles considers how recent cannabis law reform victories are reshaping the landscape of the oldest debate in drug policy....

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Submissions on e-cigs and drug utensils

In September the Drug Foundation made submissions on two Ministry of Health consultation documents: Policy Options for the Regulation of Ele......

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2015 in review

At the 2015 Annual General Meeting we looked back at the Drug Foundation’s work over the last twelve months, and ahead to the big challenges......

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Review of Drug Utensils Regulation - submit now!

The Ministry of Health has recently taken an important initial step in addressing one of five priority areas of the National Drug Policy (ND......

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Statement of strategic direction 2018-2022

In November 2018 we released a strategy outlining the vision, values and priorities to bring about change....

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