[ Skip to main content ]

We all want a happier, healthier, more equal New Zealand. For the Drug Foundation, that means treating cannabis use as a health and social issue.

Enrol to vote

Make sure you’re registered to cast your vote on 19 September

Enrol now

The referendum on legalising cannabis will be held at the General Election on 19 September. 

We’ll be voting on the Government’s Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which puts regulation in place to minimise the social and health harms of cannabis. The Bill has a special focus on protecting young New Zealanders.

This is the best chance New Zealand has to put public health controls around how we manage cannabis in our country. 

The Drug Foundation is backing a ‘Yes’ vote - find out why here.  Looking for detail? See our FAQs.

Why we're saying yes

Free up Police to focus on serious crime

Nearly half of all adult New Zealanders have tried cannabis. It’s clear our current law doesn’t stop people using it.

That makes our law a waste of valuable Police resources. Legalisation will free up Police to focus on serious crime.

Put some controls around cannabis

Right now, people who use cannabis get it from the black market, outside of any government control.

Legalisation is not about creating a new cannabis market – it’s about putting controls around the existing one, from seed to sale.

Taxes into health and education programmes

We will all benefit from as much as $490M in new taxes from legalising and controlling cannabis.

The government has promised to put this money into health and education programmes that will benefit all New Zealanders.

Improve access to patients

Cannabis can be an effective medicine for some serious conditions.

Patients should be able to access the medicine that works for them without fear of prosecution. Legal cannabis would mean easier, cheaper access for patients to a wider range of products.

What you need to know

In this section:

vote yes thumbnail2

The Bill

Read More
vote yes thumbnail2

Why vote Yes?

Read More
vote yes thumbnail2

The Referendum

Read More
vote yes thumbnail2

Get updates

Read More
vote yes thumbnail2


Read More
vote yes thumbnail2


Read More

Related See more

event thumbnail

Cannabis Control Bill: What it means for medicinal cannabis users - live chat recording

An expert panel will discuss how the Cannabis Control Bill could improve access for medicinal cannabis users. Register now for 28 May Live C...

Summary: Understanding the Cannabis Control Bill

A summnary of the key features of the final draft of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

event thumbnail

Understanding the Cannabis Control Bill live chat recording

Here is the recording from a LiveChat about the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill held on 6 May 2020.

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail on weed

No is a vote to maintain Aotearoa’s status quo

Some say cannabis law is a tool of race and class oppression. At the same time, many people with terminal illness or chronic pain have found...

Want to take action to get the referendum over the line?

We need you to win this!

Sign up to receive updates from the Drug Foundation

Authorised by the NZ Drug Foundation, 265 Wakefield Street, Wellington.


Drug laws that give people a hand up, not a lockup.

Sign up to become a volunteer

Back to top