A no vote won’t deliver a cannabis-free New Zealand

The provisional results of the cannabis referendum are disappointing for the broad range of people who advocated for change. Photo / File

OPINION:

The provisional results of the cannabis referendum show the vote for change coming close, but short of a majority. The gap between yes and no is likely to narrow when the large number of votes yet not counted are factored in, but the jury is out on whether it can be closed altogether.

The provisional result is disappointing for the broad range of those who advocated for change. The case for legalisation was evidence-based. It weighed up the harms caused by prohibition against the potential for harm from cannabis use. It took into account that cannabis has for decades been a very widely available recreational drug in New Zealand and that a large majority of New Zealanders have used it.

A no vote cannot and will not deliver a cannabis-free New Zealand. What it delivers is the ongoing control of supply chains by organised crime which profits…

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