Support surges for cannabis use proves need for law reform

The Green Party said today a sharp increase in support for cannabis use shows New Zealand law is deeply out of touch with everyday New Zealanders.

A Curia Market Research poll published today, commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation, demonstrated swelling support across the board – for medicinal and recreational purposes, and among supporters of every political party.

“This research demonstrates that New Zealand is more than ready for a mature conversation on common-sense cannabis reform.” Green Party Sensible Drug Law Reform spokesperson, Chlöe Swarbrick, said.

“The massive nine percentage point increase in support for the use of medicinal cannabis, following the recent respectful, evidence-informed public discussion and debate on my Medicinal Cannabis Member’s Bill shows the public not only responds, but is hungry for and responsive to the facts.

“With 87% of New Zealanders in support of cannabis liberalisation for pain relief, the Health Select Committee now has a mandate to broaden the Government’s Medicinal Cannabis Bill to help those living with pain, not just those with a terminal illness.

“So too, a clear majority of New Zealanders support a liberalisation for adult, recreational cannabis possession and use, providing a great starting point for an informed and respectful public discussion surrounding our referendum on the issue.

“The war on drugs has done more than fail. It has multiplied harm – whether that’s incarceration rates, recidivism, the fact people can’t access help when they need it, the intricate correlation to mental health, issues of intergenerational crime or poverty – we need an evidence-based, public health approach. We need to do what works.”

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