The Green Party welcome the survey on Māori support for legalisation and regulation of cannabis released today, says Green Party Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson.
The Horizon Research poll shows 75% of Māori would vote to legalise cannabis for personal use if a referendum were held tomorrow.
“The new poll shows a strong appetite for change among Māori in how we treat drug use in Aotearoa.
“Tangata whenua have been bearing the brunt of the war of drugs and are disproportionately being sent to prison for low level offences.
“I have seen first-hand the difficulty and harm that addiction and drug abuse can place on whānau, which is why a harm reduction approach that puts the health of the community first is so important. We need to ensure that people have full access to the addiction and rehabilitation support services they need to get on their feet.”
Green Party drug law reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said Māori voices need to be central to proposed changes.
“Genuine justice requires undoing the decades of harm perpetuated by the war on people who use drugs.
“In Aotearoa New Zealand, that means paying proper attention to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It means ensuring our most vulnerable communities are engaged in developing the regulations that have and will continue to disproportionately interfere with their lives.
“Across the world, Governments are rejecting the proven failure of penalising drug use in favour of evidence-based regulation to reduce harm. The Greens secured agreement to treat drugs as the health issue that it is in our Confidence & Supply Agreement, alongside a commitment to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The cannabis referendum offers an opportunity to do both.”