A charitable trust fronting the fight to legalise recreational cannabis in New Zealand has appealed to the global cannabis community to help fund the campaign after insisting a victory in NZ would be a victory for the entire industry.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation used a virtual conference to appeal for US$1m in a bid to defeat no vote lobbyists in September’s historic referendum.

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New Zealand will be the first country in the world to take the debate over recreational cannabis to the people.

Addressing a conference organised by Prohibition Partners, NZ Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell predicted a yes vote would “supercharge the global cannabis movement”.

The NZ Drug Foundation will need US$1m over the next three months to fund a multiplatform ‘yes’ campaign

“This is not just a NZ campaign, this is a campaign for the world,” he told delegates watching online.  

“This is not just a NZ referendum, this is a referendum for the world.

“If we win it will supercharge the global movement. It will send a signal to other politicians in the US and Australia, and elsewhere, that if NZ can do it, we can do it as well.”

But he warned that defeat on September 19 would damage efforts around the world to legalise the drug.  

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...