To: The New Zealand Government
Pardon cannabis offences and decriminalise cannabis
We call on the New Zealand Government to overturn cannabis possession and use charges, pardon and apologise to those convicted, and decriminalise cannabis possession and use.Petition by NZ Drug Foundation
Why is this important?
Since 1980, over 120,000 New Zealanders have been convicted for cannabis use and possession. These people often lose whānau, jobs or housing, and have their lives marred by the stigma and shame of a drug conviction.
This is despite 69% of New Zealanders supporting decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis. Most of us believe that cannabis should not result in a life-shattering criminal conviction.
In October 2022, President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of Americans convicted of cannabis possession. We’re calling on the New Zealand Government to follow suit and to decriminalise cannabis possession and use.
We know that here in Aotearoa, the impact of our drug laws is not felt evenly across society. Māori, young people and men bear the burden of cannabis convictions.
The US led the charge in making cannabis illegal to crack down on the civil rights movement and Indigenous communities. We have seen the impact of that felt across the world and throughout generations.
Biden’s move is a monumental step towards righting the harm caused by cannabis convictions. This is the right move for the United States, and one that New Zealand must follow.
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