The Green Party will use an evidence-based, harm minimisation approach to drug law in place of criminal prohibition on one hand and commercial privileges on the other (such as for alcohol). Current approaches do not reduce drug use, but cause more harm to our communities. The Green Party supports an overhaul of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, accessible and affordable addiction services, a legal and regulated cannabis market, and other harm reduction measures, including education. 


An evidence-based legal framework to promote and deliver health, wellbeing and informed agency where people may choose to use substances.

Values and Principles

Decisions relating to drug law reform must be consistent with the following values and principles:

  • Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Drug policy should be co-designed with Māori, under a Te Tiriti o Waitangi framework, and promote the rights and interests of whānau, hapū and iwi.
  • Ecological Wisdom: The environmental impact of some drug production should be recognised in drug law reform. 
  • Social Responsibility: Substance-related harm should be treated as a health issue, with a focus on root causes and equity.
  • Appropriate Decision-Making: Drug policy should be rational and based on credible and scientifically-valid evidence.
  • Non-Violence: Drug policy should have a primary focus on improving public health and reducing harm, not on punishing users.

Strategic Priorities

The Green Party’s strategic goals include: 

“As a Party we strive to create a more connected, compassionate and equal Aotearoa, free from structural biases that discriminate against groups and individuals.”

Actions in this policy that will help achieve this include:

  • Treat substance addiction as a health problem, by implementing and sufficiently resourcing approaches that are found to be the best to reduce the suffering of people with addictions and other problematic use. (3.1)
  • Require the Ministry of Health to develop integrated, effective, evidence-based legislation and regulation to reduce harm and cost to society, individuals, and the environment from drug use and abuse, and enhance people’s capacity for informed choice. (2.1)
  • Support policies to minimise harm caused by drug use – for example needle and syringe exchange schemes, and safe consumption spaces. (2.3)
  • Legally regulate cannabis for personal use (...). (4.1)
  • Phase out all broadcast, billboard and print (excluding point of sale) advertising of alcoholic beverages, and sponsorship by alcohol brands. (4.14)

Connected Policies

This policy is strongly connected to our Health Policy. Drug use does not occur in a vacuum. Empowering communities and creating a fairer society and an economy that works for everyone will help reduce drug-related harm, as will a reduction in family violence and more assistance to those struggling with cultural disconnection, personal and relationship issues. Many Green Party policies are therefore relevant to the prevention of drug-related harm, including Economic, Household Livelihoods, Justice, Housing, Education, Kaupapa Māori and Youth Policies.


Latest Drug Law Reform Announcements


Greens cheers community win to reduce alcohol harm

The Green Party is today celebrating the passage of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Bill.
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Greens welcome Government joining the party to deal with disposable vapes

The Green Party are welcoming the Government’s announcement of regulations to curb youth vaping.
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Greens welcome Government coming to party on reducing alcohol harm

The Green Party are celebrating today’s introduction of the Government’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill, effec...
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No more Biden time on cannabis decriminalisation

The Green Party is calling on the Government to follow President Joe Biden’s lead and decriminalise cannabis. 
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Alcohol action is suicide prevention - MPs must act

Evidence published today showing that acute alcohol use is a factor in more than a quarter of suicides in New Zealand is a shocking wakeup call and...
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Taxing drug revenue would mean drug reform

If ACT is serious about taxing illicit drug revenue then let’s talk about drug reform, the Green Party says.
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