The Green Party recognises that:
- Drug policy should be rational and based on credible and scientifically-valid evidence.
- There can be adverse health, social and economic consequences from the use of drugs for both individuals and society.
- Not all drug use is problematic.
- Some individuals in society will choose to use drugs, regardless of their legal status.
- Prohibition of drugs can cause more harm that it prevents.
- Drug policy should have a primary focus on improving public health instead of trying to punish users.
Specific Policy Points
Health promotion and reducing harm
- Evidence-based and age-appropriate drug education in schools; and non-judgemental evidence-based information available through health services and point of sale.
- Implement recommendations of the Law Commission on the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
- Re-evaluate the relative harms and appropriate legal and regulatory status of psychoactive substances.
- Support policies to minimise harm caused by drug use – for example needle exchange schemes.
- Sufficient resources for rehabilitation services and other programmes that provide help rather than punishment for people with drug problems.
Cannabis (including medicinal cannabis)
- Make cannabis legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation.
- Introduce a legal age limit for personal use.
- Assess evidence from overseas jurisdictions with legal cannabis markets to determine the best model for New Zealand.
- While waiting for broader law change for cannabis, remove penalties for any person with a terminal illness, chronic or debilitating condition to cultivate, possess or use cannabis and/or cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, with the support of a registered medical practitioner.
- Accelerate the process by which medical cannabis products are licensed for use.
- Lower barriers for manufacturers to submit new cannabis products for funding applications to PHARMAC.
Alcohol and Tobacco
- Retain blood alcohol limit at 50mg per 100ml for adults aged 20 and over (the currently-recognised medical definition of intoxication).
- Phase out all broadcast, billboard and print advertising of alcoholic beverages, and sponsorship by alcohol brands.
- Keep purchase age for alcohol at 18.
- Set a minimum price for alcohol and replace the current alcohol tax regime with a tax that is directly proportional to the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink.
- Commitment to the Smokefree Aotearoa goal, supported by further extension of the Smokefree Environments Act, plain packaging of tobacco products, and further taxation increases.
Cannabis - it's time to change our cannabis laws
New Zealanders deserve a positive and solutions-focused discussion on access to medicinal cannabis, which should be legal, and affordable.
Green MP Julie Anne Genter has a members’ bill before parliament which would legalise access to cannabis products for New Zealanders suffering from terminal illness or any debilitating condition.