The Guardian is reporting..
Some of New Zealand’s most experienced public health experts have thrown their support behind legalising marijuana, a week out from the country’s general election.
In an editorial in the New Zealand Medical Journal, specialists from the fields of addiction treatment, public health, health promotion and epidemiology have urged New Zealanders to tick yes in the referendum, days after a poll showed the vote on a knife-edge.
The referendum is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to legalise cannabis, and promote health equality, the editorial said.
Prof Michael Baker from the University of Otago, one of the key architects of the country’s successful Covid-19 response, says New Zealand had shown it was a world leader in utilising “innovative and evidence-informed approaches” to complex public health problems.
“It’s time to take the same fresh approach to cannabis law and put public health first,” Prof Baker says.
The Cannabis Referendum: why a yes vote offers a net gain for public health
Sam McBride, Papaarangi Reid, Louise Signal, Michael G Baker
The Cannabis Referendum provides an opportunity for New Zealand to take another step towards the wider goal of minimising the harms of drug use in this country. Here we summarise why evidence and public health considerations support a yes vote in the Referendum.