Shared via The Guardian.
In New Zealand, cannabis is classified as an illegal drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Its possession, use and supply are subject variously to penalties ranging in severity from fines to many years of imprisonment. On Wednesday, the Helen Clark Foundation released a report which sets out the case for legalising and regulating cannabis. New Zealanders have the opportunity to vote for that in a referendum next year.
Clearly, the prospect of invoking criminal sanctions has had little impact on people’s behaviour. Evidence from longitudinal studies carried out in New Zealand indicates that by the age of 25, 80% of New Zealanders will have tried cannabis at least once. Put simply, prohibition-based policy approaches have not eradicated and will not eradicate cannabis consumption and supply in New Zealand or anywhere else where its use is established