The New Zealand government seems to have little interest in real and useful legal regulation on cannabis, so the Drug Foundation is working on a new model of drug laws for the country instead. They are proposing a new model which would decriminalize drugs and regulate the cannabis market.
New Zealand, which has always been a world leader of social change, being a pioneer of women’s suffrage in 1893 and anticipating LGTB movements by allowing gay marriage in 2013, must now act to end their obsolete laws on drugs and provide a new vision for the country.
The current act criminalizes possession and use of drugs in the misplaced belief that it will prevent people from taking them. The country has one of the highest rates of drug use in the world, but is more concerned with punishing the consumer than working on cannabis use, trade, and abuse prevention. Drug Foundation, the promoter of the new measures, believes that the government and its archaic measures are hurting citizens rather than helping them, a belief they held strongly enough to write a new act on drugs and cannabis, which you can consult here.
This new model is not intended to end the punishment of drug trafficking but to humanize the process to protect those who carry or consume cannabis. We are talking about reducing the degree of criminalization of cannabis. The foundation believes that the minorities dealing in drugs need support, compassion and treatment. The fear of being punished for consuming does not stop people from continuing to consume. So the time has come to try alternative methods. “Changing our drug policy is the next step in getting rid of prejudice, discrimination and stigmatization of cannabis users. And we want to do it by 2020”, said the foundation. One of the most important changes that the new model contains, is that currentently illegal drugs would be decriminalized.
If the police find someone in possession of drugs, they would be given a warning that would include information and legal advice to help stop using drugs. After two or three cautions (depending on the type of drug), the person in question would be obliged to attend some kind of course or intervention to discuss the state of their health and possible treatments. This new proposal also supports a regulated cannabis market and the right to self-cultivation, among other things. You can read more about New Zealand’s new drug model here.