NORML policy

NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalise the responsible use of cannabis by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality cannabis that is safe, convenient and affordable.

NORML has adopted two campaign themes and three supporting concepts:

2 Main Themes

  1. drug policy should address the problem that NZ has the world’s highest teenage use of cannabis (this meets our need to address parental concerns), and
  2. drug use is a health issue, not a crime (this justifies our call for harm minimisation policies);

3 Supporting Concepts

  1. Prohibition has clearly failed, with at least 400,000 cannabis users annually, and
  2. Patients should have safe, legal access to medicinal marijuana, and
  3. The current law is racist and discriminatory.

All NORML NZ activities should be consistent with the objective of mobilising the greatest possible public support for drug law reform.

Not everyone who supports reform will agree with our position.  A realistic and worthwhile goal for NORML NZ is to get our supporters within all the sector groups to adopt the most progressive position they are comfortable with. That may be public support for decriminalisation, or it may just be support for medicinal use. All progress we make now supports later progress being made when the legislation is debated.

Our positions

The Board of NORML NZ continue to support the following positions:

  • A regulated, adults-only, taxable market for cannabis and other low-risk drugs
  • Access to safe medicinal supplies of cannabis for those who might receive benefits from them
  • No criminal penalties for personal use of drugs/possession for personal use
  • Drug control laws should respect human diversity and fundamental human rights
  • Health problems caused by tobacco, alcohol and other drugs should be funded adequately and treated consistently.  Compulsory treatment should be reserved for exceptional cases
  • Drug policy should aim to solve New Zealand drug use problems; we reject obsolete and failing international drug control conventions that are a barrier to effective solutions.

NORML NZ also promotes drug law reform activities in the community that lead to the adoption of progressive, reform policies.

Programme of action:

The Law Commission has released it’s report. We need to:

  • Engage in a deliberate strategy of visiting selected organisations and persuading them to take a public position.
  • Hold talks with key figures in all political parties (party leaders, health and justice spokespersons) to prime them for its release.
  • Develop a media campaign with a clear strategy to control our branding and frame the debate in terms of mainstream values. Develop cooperative relationships with friendly journalists.
  • Coordinate with allied cannabis law reform groups and individuals so that we share a common strategy while in some cases adopting different tactics.
  • Build our organisational capacity and stakeholder relationships as outlined below.

Election-related activity

(in election years)

Before any election campaign, and during the campaign, NORML NZ can put drug law reform on the political agenda:

  • Placards and hoardings that are simple and focussed on our theme(s).
  • New leaflets: eg on  medicinal cannabis / Tax and economy / Regulated taxable market/ Teenage use
  • A NORML campaign network stretching from Whangarei to Invercargill, with ideally one person in charge of activities in each general electorate, supported by a small team of activists who will picket the public meetings, put up hoardings, hand out leaflets, etc etc.
  • Encourage all activists to work in local groups, using local e-networks and carrying out local activities, such as letters, meetings, stalls selling merchandise, raffles and giving away leaflets etc.
  • Aim to raise $500 to $1000 per electorate, to cover hoardings (optional) and other local expenses.
  • Local groups find out who are the local candidates and challenge them at meetings with questions.

The NORML NZ Board has adopted the above programme and encourages the formation of local groups and NORML NZ branches to carry out the programme on a broad non-partisan basis. Contact us to find out more or get involved!

See also: