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Drug Foundation head 'Current cannabis laws don't work'

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 7:30AM
Executive director of the NZ Drug Foundation, Ross Bell says our current laws around cannabis use are outdated. (Photo: Getty Images)

New polling has found strong support for cannabis law reform, with more Kiwis than ever in recorded history supporting an overhaul of our laws.

A Drug Foundation-commissioned survey, has found two-thirds of people think personal use of marijuana shouldn't be illegal any more.

And almost 90 percent think the same when it's used for pain relief.

The Drug Foundation-commissioned survey found support has grown in all six areas it looked at around cannabis legalisation each year since it started in 2016.

Four of the six different activities have majority support, but two - growing cannabis for friends, and selling from a store - have less than 50 percent support.

Drug Foundation executive director, Ross Bell, says we're hardly the guinea pigs of cannabis law reform.

"One of the reasons why support is increasing is because the public have seen quite significant reform. We've got legalisation happening in Canada and many states in the US have legal commercial cannabis and they've seen that the sky hasn't fallen in."

 

Bell says people have slowly been realising our 40-year-old drug laws just aren't working.

"We have high rates of cannabis use in New Zealand and our current approach isn't working, we need to more focus on this through prevention, education and treatment. This is a health issue not a criminal justice issue and I think the public now understand that."

LISTEN ABOVE AS ROSS BELL SPEAKS WITH KATE HAWKESBY

ON AIR: Overnight Talk

12AM - 5AM