Cannabis press gallery
We are curating a list of press items that provide information relating to the cannabis referendum. The list is updated periodically, so keep checking back.
Commentary in the media
Updated periodically | Last updated: 8 July 2020
- The illegal status of cannabis is meant to deter its use, but most New Zealanders have used it. Political reporter Derek Cheng takes a deep dive into the findings of our cannabis expert panel and resulting evidence summary for the New Zealand Herald. Derek also interviewed Professor Juliet Gerrard about the work, discussing the potential for harm reduction but also the significant unknowns.
- The scientific evidence behind legalising cannabis is uncertain – political reporter Thomas Manch outlines the findings of the PMCSA cannabis expert panel’s evidence summary on Stuff.
- Juliet sat down on TVNZ’s Breakfast show to discuss the new website produced by an expert panel: an evidence summary called Legalising cannabis: What does the evidence say? Watch the interview and read a summary here
- What can we learn from Aotearoa New Zealand’s history of drug reform? Dr Marta Rychert and Associate Professor Chris Wilkins, researchers in drug policy at Massey University, unpack the cannabis legalisation bill and examine possible implementation challenges.
- A new poll, commissioned by medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics, finds that a growing majority of New Zealanders support legalising cannabis for personal use, writes New Zealand Herald reporter Tom Dillane.
- Another poll, conducted by Colmar Brunton for 1NEWS, found that 40% of respondents would vote to legalise cannabis, compared to 49% in favour of the drug remaining illegal.
- Associate Professor Joe Boden (director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study) writes about two long-term health studies, and what 40 years following thousands of New Zealanders tells us about cannabis harm.
- Professor Richie Poulton, Chief Science Advisor for the social sector and director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, spoke to Kim Hill for RNZ‘s Saturday Morning programme about the health impacts of cannabis use.
- Law expert Associate Professor Khylee Quince tells 1NEWS Breakfast that the proposed legislation is an opportunity to bring cannabis under control, while drug researcher Associate Professor Chris Wilkins says the bill needs to be clearer. Watch the interview here
- Out of 1000 Cantabrians aged 40, 50% opposed the legalisation of cannabis, according to new research led by the University of Otago’s Professor Joe Boden. Brendon Egan reports on the research, which analysed data from interviews conducted in 2017, prior to the announcement of the referendum.
- Will Kiwis pay attention to information that doesn’t bolster their preconceived notions about cannabis? Ananish Chaudhuri, professor of experimental economics at the University of Auckland, discusses ‘confirmation biases’ in the context of the cannabis referendum.
- New Zealand respiratory specialists highlight links between smoking cannabis and lung diseases such as bronchitis and ‘bong lung’ in a review of international evidence, reports Michael Neilson in the New Zealand Herald.
- Canadian business professor Michael J Armstrong compares New Zealand’s proposed cannabis legislation to Canada’s experience in this opinion piece.
- Associate Professor Fiona Hutton, from Victoria University of Wellington, describes her research focusing on New Zealanders with drug-related convictions and explains why we should think about the cannabis referendum – even in the midst of a pandemic.
- Decriminalisation vs legalisation: which is the better option? Dr Lynne Bowyer and Dr Deborah Stevens, co-directors of The New Zealand Centre for Science and Citizenship Trust, advocate for decriminalisation in this opinion piece.
- What will New Zealanders be asked to vote on in September? The Guardian’s Charlotte Graham-McLay summarises the key points in the proposed legislation.
- If the country decides to vote yes, what will the new rules be? Staff writer Alex Braae breaks down the cannabis legislation in a Q&A-style article on The Spinoff.
- The NZ Drug Foundation has raised some concern about the proposed THC limit for recreational cannabis under the proposed legal framework, as reported on RNZ.
- The cannabis referendum isn’t really about whether you think cannabis is good or bad, writes political reporter Derek Cheng. Would the proposed framework be better than the status quo at minimising cannabis-related harm? An analysis in the NZ Herald [paywall].
- The Government has released the final draft of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. Political reporter Collette Devlin unpacks the details on Stuff.
- A new discussion paper from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research compares Aotearoa New Zealand’s proposed legal cannabis system with overseas examples. Newshub interviews the author Peter Wilson on the potential economic impacts of cannabis legalisation.
- A new poll found that 54% of respondents would vote “yes” to legalise cannabis in the upcoming referendum. The poll was conducted on behalf of medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics, writes money and consumer affairs reporter Rob Stock on Stuff.
- In a new series called ‘Out of the echo chamber’ in the Otago Daily Times, two anonymous members of the Otago community debate opposing sides of the cannabis question: should it be legal?
- Associate Professor Fiona Hutton (criminologist, Victoria University Wellington) unpacks some of the evidence from Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas on cannabis use and impacts.
- The Whanganui Science Forum held a panel discussion on the cannabis referendum with Joe Boden (Associate Professor in psychological medicine, University of Otago), Fiona Hutton (Associate Professor in criminology, Victoria University), Whanganui MP Harate Hipango, former MP Nandor Tanczos, and member of the New Zealand Parole Board Chester Borrows. Watch a recording of the discussion on YouTube
- A UMR poll conducted on behalf of the Helen Clark Foundation finds that once people are told what the proposed cannabis legislation entails, support for legalisation outweighs opposition.
- The Morning Report covers new research showing that the number of 14 and 15 year old kiwis trying cannabis has fallen by more than a quarter. But according to the same study, more people are trying cannabis later in life.
- Chris Wilkins (Associate Professor in drug research, Massey University) talks to The AM Show about falling cannabis conviction numbers.
- Freelance journalist Kate MacNamara takes an economic perspective, speculating that cannabis buyers may be unlikely to switch to legal sources based on statistics coming out of Canada.
- A Newshub-Reid Research poll found that 47.7% of respondents did not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control bill, while 39.4% did express support and 11.6% did not know.
- A poll conducted by Colmar Brunton on behalf of 1 NEWS found that 51% of respondents believe that cannabis should remain illegal.
- Chris Wilkins (Associate Professor in drug research, Massey University) tells 1 NEWS that New Zealand needs more robust research into drug use trends and the effects of drugs on society.
- Alice Webb-Liddall (staff writer) dives into a 1975 Otago Law Review paper on cannabis legalisation by Kevin Dawkins (Professor of law, University of Otago), interspersed with commentary from Joseph Boden (Associate Professor in psychological medicine, University of Otago).
- David Clement (North American affairs manager, Consumer Choice Center) shares his opinion on legalisation and unpacks issues with Canada’s recently enacted policy.
- Sally Casswell (Professor of public health policy, Massey University) examines how transnational corporations could influence a legal cannabis market with repercussions for public health
- John Amstrong (columnist) summarises recent media and how this has affected cannabis referendum polling.
- Giles Newton-Howes (Professor of psychology) answers some questions about the clarity of the health effects from cannabis.
- Canadian business academic Associate Professor Michael J Armstrong outlines some potential lessons from Canada’s legalisation experience
- Joe Boden (Christchurch Health and Development Study Director) explores the issues with cannabis prohibition.
- Tracy Neal (reporter) explains how the public are divided over the cannabis referendum.
- Damien Venuto (business reporter) discusses the proposed legislation for the legalisation of cannabis.
- Dr Buzz Burrell (GP) discusses the state of understanding about medicinal cannabis.
- Tuari Potiki (Drug Foundation Chair) discusses how cannabis regulations need to be designed with and by Māori to honour the Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- Alice Webb-Liddall (staff writer) discusses how legalisation could address bias in the legal system.
- Ben Franks (former All Black) discusses his personal experience with cannabis and cannabis products that his company is involved with producing.
- Teresa Ramsey discusses casual cannabis use as a way to ‘wind down’.
- Andre McRae (reporter) discusses Claire Robinson’s (Massey University) analysis on the upcoming cannabis and euthanasia referendum.
- Brittany Keogh (reporter) discusses some recent results from US and what is needed to inform voters here.
- Kali Mercier (guest writer) discusses results from the recent State of Nation 2019 report on Alcohol and other drugs.
- Tom Forrest (agronomist) discusses the opportunity for cannabis industry in Australia and New Zealand.
- Jane Patterson (political editor) discusses plans to combat misinformation and manipulation for the cannabis legalisation referendum that expands on an earlier article here.
- 1 NEWS hosted a public debate between Paula Bennett (Deputy Leader National Party) and Chlöe Swarbrick (Green Party MP) discussing legalisation in New Zealand. Sam Brooks wrote a breakdown article of the debate on The Spinoff which you can read here.
- Alice Webb-Liddall (staff writer) discusses legal systems in five countries and how these may impact the shape a proposed framework in New Zealand.
- Hannah McGowan (guest writer) discusses some potential benefits of legalising cannabis.
- Alison Mau (senior journalist) discusses the effects of social media on democratic process and why it is important to be mindful for the cannabis referendum.
- John Weekes wrote a summary of recent opinions regarding legalisation.
- A recent report from the Helen Clark foundation has recommended the legalisation of cannabis with some easy to access media releases. A summary of the report can be read here.
- Pub Politics hosted an informal debate between of Paula Bennett (Deputy Leader National Party), Chlöe Swarbrick (Green Party MP), David Seymour (ACT Party) and Chris Fowlie (NORML & TDB).
August 2019 and earlier
- Patrick Gower recently released his two-part series ‘Patrick Gower: on weed’ and in additional work, Patrick explored some of the negative effects of cannabis.
- Mike Hosking has voiced concerns for the legalisation of cannabis in New Zealand.
- Michelle Glass (Professor of pharmacology) and John Ashton (Associate Professor of pharmacology) discuss issues with safety and effectiveness of cannabis-based products.
- Jay Kuten (forensic psychiatrist) discusses the issues with current laws in New Zealand.
- Derek Cheng (political reporter) provides a summary of issues relating to legalisation.