By Kali Mercier / The Spinoff

What would you want police to do if they found your child, relative or best friend in possession of cannabis or other illicit drugs? 

Most people we talk to say they would like their loved ones to have an opportunity to get help if they need it, and to be left alone if they don’t. Funnily enough, no one ever mentions that they’d want them to receive a conviction for drug use. Why would we want it to be different for anyone else’s relative or friend?

Last week the Ministry of Justice released their drug conviction figures for 2021. We now have two full years of data since the government amended our drugs laws to reduce the number of people prosecuted for possession and use of drugs. The jury is in: the new law is better than what was there before. Convictions have fallen by 28% for low-level possession offences in the two years since the amendment, compared to the two years before.