Ideally decriminalise but don't legalise - I understand that leaves a reduced ability to control - perhaps decriminalisation requires associated conditions such as rehab, education and no further use within 'X' period. Pursue education programmes (as suggested) to reduce usage, and to deter usage not just until 25 but thereafter. Provide information about how this could work around drug free & safety critical workplaces. People in general, but specifically those working in safety critical workplaces shouldn't have to be exposed to people engaging in this behaviour and it would be disappointing to see usage increase. Smoking cannabis should remain at least as socially unacceptable as smoking is becoming, with the exception of medical usage which should be given greater support where deemed appropriate by suitably qualified medical professionals.
I would definitely decriminalise all drugs (but not drug related criminal activity e.g. dealing, driving under the influence etc). As someone who works in in the AOD field I believe decriminalisation would allow more people to come forward for help without fear of prosecution. NZ has enough legal drugs in alcohol and nicotine without adding another. I would support a well regulated medical marijuana stance (i.e. reputable medical professionals). In the recreational market NZ does need cannabis, as in this form it is not harmless- particularly for those with mental health issues.
Limit its use to medical purposes only. No need to add more legal drugs; two is already two too many (alcohol and tobacco). Widespread use by our youth is no reason to make access easier, it's a reason for paternalism.
I've recently been to Washington where it is legal, and it was horrible. The smell of cannabis permeated the entire city. If it's not illegal, people will smoke it everywhere. How will you stop that? I don't want my children growing up with that as a familiar smell. Also, how will employers continue to have drug free workplaces if cannabis is legalised? Essentially you're only legalising it for unemployed people. I also don't believe it sits well with our rather wholesome, outdoorsy international image. It's a concern because a lot of your other policies sound really good.
If it is unhealthy for brain development for a person under 25 to smoke cannabis, then why set the legal minimum age to 20? One should not be able purchase cannabis until they have reached a safe age and development level.
Yes, the previous poster said the same. Cannabis is illegal for good reasons. The problems related to cannabis or other drugs will not go away by making it legal. You have to realize that the majority of Kiwis want to keep cannabis illegal, please.
O.k you are going to make it legal to use cannabis. As a employer are we going to stop drug testing for cannabis in employees blood system in the work place?. It shows up for 30 days after using it. I will not employ someone with cannabis showing up in a drug test.
Get real guys this hasn't had much thought has it.
* Cancer causing and hereditary effects (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/the-harmful-effects.html)
* Lower life satisfaction, poorer mental health, poorer physical health, more relationship problems (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana)
* Reduced IQ (https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/marijuana/what-are-marijuanas-long-term-effects-brain)
Doesn't seem good to me, and legalisation might send a message to those who would not otherwise us it that "it's ok" when it isn't.
We all know that the use of one drug leads onto others. Yes, I agree that alcohol is a highly dangerous misused drug, but legalising another is a solution? I think not. Let us remove all of the road rules as they are broken all of the time. I do not have a solution other than families doing the right thing educating and supporting each other to stop drug use, but legalising another drug is not one.
I believe your cannabis reform is well formulated, builds on experience from overseas and will yield benefits. But if we acknowledge that prohibition has never worked to prevent harm caused by drugs, why only consider cannabis? All drug usage, including excessive alcohol consumption has the potential to cause harm, to the users, to the families of the users and to the community in the form of crime and interaction with crime. So why only try and fix cannabis when we will still be putting people in jail for other drug usage, still accepting that they will be buying other drugs from gangs or organised crime? If you want to cut the funds to gangs, remove the potential of any income from selling drugs. Give the people who need, or want help, the health assistance required to fix problem instead of the criminal education we fund now. What would be the potential savings from the police, the courts and from funding prisons if all drug usage was decriminalised and a health and education based approach was taken to minimising the harm caused by drugs? I suspect it would yield more significant results than what has been proposed. But the challenge would be getting it accepted. Be bold, expand you scope if you believe in what you are proposing.