Last week, US President Joe Biden made the historic move to pardon people convicted federally for cannabis possession and use, and instructed his administration to review the country's cannabis laws.
Off the back of this, we're urging the New Zealand Government to decriminalise cannabis and follow Biden's lead to pardon those convicted of its possession and use.
In Aotearoa, between 1980-2021, 124,344 people have been convicted of cannabis possession and/or use. That’s nearly the same number of people as live in Dunedin, all of whose lives are adversely affected, for using a drug that in many parts of the world has been legalised. Whānau are torn apart. Jobs are lost. Entire lives are marred by stigma and discrimination, right in our own backyard.
Cannabis convictions are not some long forgotten relic of the past - they are still happening. In 2020/2021, 2442 New Zealanders were convicted of a cannabis offence, with 63% of those relating to possession.
Our cannabis laws have been racist since the beginning. Our history books tell us these laws were created primarily to get civil rights and indigenous movement under control.
That’s why we should right this wrong, and move to decriminalise cannabis use and possession. If you agree with us, sign our petition.
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.