A healthy approach to alcohol and other drugs

The Green Party will take an evidence-based, compassionate approach to drug law reform that reduces harm in our communities.

A more compassionate approach to drugs will support people who are struggling instead of punishing them.

People living on low incomes, without access to safe, affordable homes, secure incomes and access to key support services often experience the brunt of drug harm, including through the criminal justice system.

Successive governments have made it harder for people to get access to the mental health and addiction services they need. Right now, the Government spends four times as much on criminal punishment than health-based approaches. It also does not prioritise hauora Māori support, leaving many Māori disproportionately impacted by drug harm.

Drugs exist, regardless of whether we want them to or not. It is a matter of political choice whether the response increases or decreases harm. Over the last three years, the Greens have successfully pushed the Government to legalise and fund drug checking and give communities a greater say about alcohol being sold in their area. But more needs to be done.

The time is now to overhaul drug laws and replace them with sensible regulation that prioritises people’s health. We will properly fund mental health and addiction services. By taking a health-based approach to drugs, we can ensure everyone has access to help when and where they need it.

Our plan

  • Repeal and replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 with an evidence-based approach, which reduces harm and treats drug use as a health issue.
  • Regulate the personal use of cannabis to minimise the risk of harm to users, their whānau, and communities. This will include tight restrictions on advertising and the location of retail outlets.
  • Increase health and rehabilitation support for people who are seeking to reduce their use of drugs and alcohol, through kaupapa Māori, Rainbow, youth, and harm reduction programmes.
  • Phase out all alcohol advertising and sponsorship, including at sporting and cultural events.
  • Improve the framework for medicinal cannabis and create a new framework for trials of therapeutic uses of other controlled substances such as psychedelics.
  • Regulate vaping products as a harm-reduction measure for established tobacco users, while minimising uptake by new users, including by banning shopfront advertising, and banning disposable vapes.
  • Roll-out overdose prevention services, including increasing the availability of naloxone, and safe, medically supervised consumption spaces, building on the success of needle exchanges to reduce harm and save lives.