NORML New Zealand (Inc) is a non-profit society that was born at the Nambassa music festival of 1979 and officially incorporated in 1980.
NORML NZ is an “international chapter” of NORML in the US, and shares the same goals, however in reality we operate independently. We are funded by donations, memberships, and activities like raffles and so on.
Our 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.
What has NORML achieved so far?
- Changes in public opinion are huge: we now have around 80% support for medicinal use, and around 60% public support for general use/access.
- Health Select Committee reports (1999 & 2003) and the 2011 report of the Law Commission on the Misuse of Drugs Act (MODA). 114 recommendations in the second report adopted as Labour-Green policy.
- Nandor Tanczos and Metiria Turei, both former NORML board members, elected to parliament and become our two greatest advocates.
- Hemp legalised (2004).
- The first cannabis based medicine, Sativex, was approved – the first such approval in 60 years of prohibition.
- PSA passed (2013), based on the principle that its preferable to regulate low-risk drugs instead of trying to ban them. 119 MPs voted in favour.
- 2014 – cannabis arrests down almost 50% from the highs of the 90’s
- 2015 – National Government adopts new National Drug Policy, formally based on the principles of compassion, proportion and innovation: Minister says prohibition is “an abject failure”.
- Relevant Minister approves use of natural cannabis medicine for sick child (Alex Renton, 2015). First time in 40 years.
- 2017 Cannabidiol is allowed to be prescribed by doctors without needing special approval.
- 2017 cannabis becomes a genuine election issue for the first time. Our goals of treating cannabis as a health issue, not a crime, and safe legal access to affordable medicinal cannabis become mainstream ideas accepted by all parties.
- 2017 Labour-NZ First-Green Government agrees to legalise medical cannabis in it’s first 100 days, and to hold a Referendum on legalising personal use, at or before the 2020 election.