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Drug Law Reform - Policy Summary

Kevin Hague MP
Kevin Hague MP
kevin [dot] hague [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Read the Drug Law Reform Policy

Key Principles

The Green Party recognises that:

  • A drug-free lifestyle is the healthiest;
  • All drugs can cause harm, regardless of their legal status.
  • Not all drug use is problematic.
  • Some current government policies do not reduce harm but rather create a further set of problems.


  • To reduce drug abuse;
  • To reduce the illegal drug market;
  • To minimise the harm of legal and illegal drugs on society and individual users.

Specific Policy Points

1.Immediate Steps

  • More funding for drug education programmes in schools and communities.
  • Establish a Ministerial Advisory Group on Drug Education to evaluate and improve drug education. (Greens initiated the drug education best practise guidelines published by the Ministry of Youth Development).
  • Prioritise the prosecution of crimes such as violent offences ahead of personal cannabis possession.
  • Enable doctors to prescribe cannabis products for severely ill patients.

2. Medium Term Steps

  • Ban broadcast alcohol advertising and direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals.
  • Introduce a legal age limit of 18 years for personal cannabis use.
  • Define in law the limits on growing cannabis for personal use.
  • Ensure it remains an offence to drive while under the influence of cannabis.
  • Support strong integration of, and better resourcing for, mental health and substance misuse services.
  • Place tighter controls on highly addictive prescription drugs.

3. Longer Term Steps

  • Review all drug-related legislation to ensure consistency and a harm reduction approach.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effects of the removal of personal penalties for cannabis use, drug education programmes, drug addiction treatment programmes, and pharmaceutical controls.
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