We all want a happier, healthier, more equal New Zealand.

For us, that means treating cannabis use as a health and social issue, not a criminal one.

Most people who use cannabis do so without harm to themselves or others. But for some, cannabis can have a serious negative impact on their lives. Those people, and their families, are the ones who deserve our focus. They have been failed by prohibition.

Control of cannabis has been left to organised crime to regulate – and the black market has not done a good job of protecting our health interests. We’d like to see the Government take over this management role, because we think they’ll be a more responsible pair of hands.

At the general election in 2020, we’ll all get to vote on whether cannabis should be legalised and regulated. We’ll be voting on whether a draft Bill to regulate cannabis should go through Parliament and become law, or not. That Bill is being drafted now.

If New Zealanders vote to legalise cannabis, we need to be ready with a draft law that will protect young people, take money from the hands of organised crime, and put that towards healthcare instead. The Government is going about it the right way. They have already released a framework that focuses on improving health outcomes and protecting young people. Taking control of cannabis provides our overview of their proposals, and discusses key areas we recommend be included as they draft the Bill.