Story: Drugs

Smoking cannabis outside Parliament

Smoking cannabis outside Parliament

'Daktar Testtube' puffs on a cannabis cigarette during a rally to promote the legalisation of the drug in August 2010. Since 1979 – when a legalisation group, NORML, was set up – there have been New Zealanders campaigning for the law on cannabis to be changed. Despite some evidence that a majority of adults were sympathetic to a more liberal regime, the legal restrictions on the drug remained, although anecdotal evidence suggested that enforcement did become less strict over time. A referendum on legalising recreational cannabis use is to be held at the same time as the 2020 general election.

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Photograph by Mark Mitchell

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Drugs - Legal and social response to drugs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 September 2023)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013