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Draft bill will ensure informed referendum debate on cannabis control and regulation

The Green Party welcome draft legislation for the cannabis referendum which will provide the information required for a constructive debate on a controlled, health-based approach to cannabis in New Zealand.

"Aotearoa New Zealand should have evidence-based, harm-reduction cannabis regulation that ensures healthier communities and better mental health outcomes,” Green Party Drug Reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said today.

“For 30 years Governments have pursued a failed war on drugs that has resulted in a harmful, unregulated market controlled by the black-market, where vulnerable communities and young people are exposed to sketchy substances.

“New Zealanders are caring and responsible and can see that prohibition has pushed drug problems underground. If we get this right, our communities will be better off.

“That’s why we welcome draft legislation that gives New Zealanders the information required to make an informed decision.

“In this proposed law, you’ll find a focus on reducing access to young people, on education and increasing support for intervention in problematic use.

“With this information we hope for constructive, informed debate about how we can safeguard and promote wellbeing across Aotearoa, bringing about a positive ‘Yes’ vote by New Zealanders come their decision in 2020.

“Politicians have sat on their hands with this decision for far too long. With this referendum on a strong regulatory framework, the control of cannabis rests in the hands of Kiwis: do we want a dodgy black market, or do we want control?”