Here’s a glimpse of what happened at Auckland Town Hall at the Unify Rally on Monday 16 September.
Thanks to all who gave up their Monday night to come along, volunteer, support, sponsor or speak, and especially everyone who pledged to get more involved in our growing movement. Photographer Katrina Elton was on hand to capture what happened.
Deborah Small speaks at the Unify Rally with Health Not Handcuffs banner in the background - Deborah Small, executive director of Break the Chains (USA), has spent over 30 years making strong arguments for change.
MC Stacey Morrison addresses the crowd at the Unify Rally - MC Stacey Morrison shared her own powerful reasons for backing change. She acknowledged everyone ready to act and offered respect to everyone willing to listen.
An attentive crowd at the Auckland Town Hall. - At times you could hear a pin drop as people hung on every word.
Helen Clark speaking at the Unify Rally. Khylee Quince, Deborah Small, asha bandele and Stacey Morrison listen from the stage on her right. - In her typical direct fashion, former PM Helen Clark criticised the failed War on Drugs and urged everyone to enrol then vote.
An intimate moment between Stacey Morrison and asha bandele - Drug law reform is personal. US activist and author asha bandele made it clear we can’t talk about drugs in isolation from wider social issues.
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.