The cannabis referendum in September 2020 offers an opportunity to break with the past by introducing legislation to protect whānau, rangatahi and communities. A Yes vote would mean the new law can begin to make good on over 40 years of bad drug law that has disproportionately impacted on Māori.
In this webinar on Māori perspectives on the Cannabis Bill, our three speakers discussed how the new law may affect Māori – the good and the bad.
Chaired by: Kali Mercier, Policy & Advocacy Manager, NZ Drug Foundation.
If a majority of New Zealanders vote ‘Yes’ at the referendum, people will no longer be criminalised for the possession or use of cannabis. A raft of new measures will be introduced to make it harder for cannabis to get into the hands of young people, and there will be a strong focus on reducing the harm that cannabis can cause in communities. A harm reduction strategy will be developed and overseen by a new body, with input from Māori and other stakeholders, and there will be more investment in education and treatment.
On the face of it, the public health approach and harm minimisation principles at the core of the Bill should benefit Māori hugely - but do any areas of the legislation need more work? What do we have to watch out for before the Bill goes through, and beyond? How do we ensure legalisation is a win for Māori?
Webinar details: 11am Wednesday 10 June via Zoom.
Understanding the Cannabis Control Bill Live Chat series
Wednesday 6 May: An overview of the Cannabis Control Bill [recording]
Thursday 28 May: What it means for medicinal cannabis users [recording]
Wednesday 10 June: Māori perspectives on the Cannabis Control Bill [recording]
Wednesday 24 June: Better outcomes for young people? [recording]
Wednesday 8 July: The case for a 'Yes' vote [recording]
Survey participants also reported that barriers to accessing services, resources and information were high.
A group of powerful synthetic opioids that were first detected in the country just a year ago may have already been linked to several deaths.
95% of respondents reported positive effects, in a study that looked at both prescription and black market cannabis use.