Legal cannabis has potential to reduce harm, but many unknowns: PM’s chief science adviser

Legalising cannabis has the potential to counter systemic racism, see more treatment services and lift poor communities that have become embroiled in the black market, the chief science adviser to the Prime Minister says.

But Dr Juliet Gerrard says whether that would come to pass if the country voted to legalise recreational cannabis is unknown.

“We’re pretty sure of the situation at the moment. We’re much less sure of what will happen if we legalise it,” Gerrard told the Herald.

Gerrard has led an expert panel of academics, researchers and health and social experts – co-chaired by Auckland University Professor Tracey McIntosh – in gathering information to inform the debate in the lead up to September’s vote.

The panel’s work, peer-reviewed internationally and nationally, is going live at 11am today and contains a wealth of information.

Gerrard said the panel didn’t make any recommendations or take a position on the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill, which would set up the regulatory framework. [read more @ https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12346050 ]

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