Campaigners who fought to legalise recreational cannabis in New Zealand have spoken of their bitter disppointment at losing the referendum and admitted they struggled to get their message across to wavering voters.

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While the no camp played on deeply-engrained fears and anxieties surrounding drugs, the pro-cannabis lobby – fronted by the New Zealand Drug Foundation – had a more complex and nuanced story to tell, they said.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...