The Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHANZ) has announced its support for a ‘Yes’ vote in the country’s forthcoming cannabis referendum. 

In a statement released to media, PHANZ said: “Cannabis legalisation should be implemented with a long-term robust monitoring and evaluation framework. This position recognises that cannabis-related harms are best addressed through a health-based approach, not through criminalisation, and that the current prohibition approach to cannabis is a source of inequity in New Zealand.

“We call for the evidence on cannabis use, harms, and legalisation to be communicated in a way that is non-stigmatised and balanced. We intend to continue to advocate for changes in the bill and provide expert opinion on the bill if it is introduced to parliament to inform legislation. 

“If this bill comes into force, the Public Health Association of New Zealand will advocate for and contribute to evaluation of the health, social, and economic impacts. We will also advocate for amendments to the regulatory framework should monitoring and evaluation suggest that adjustments are needed.”

To see PHANZ’s full referendum policy statement, click here.

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