Legalising Cannabis In Aotearoa New Zealand: What Does The Evidence Say?

Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor releases
cannabis evidence summary ahead of referendum

Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science (PMCSA) has
released an accessible evidence summary today, titled
‘Legalising cannabis: What does the evidence say?’ (

by a multidisciplinary expert panel, the internationally
peer-reviewed summary is designed to support informed
decision making in the upcoming cannabis

The panel was convened by the PMCSA,
Professor Juliet Gerrard, and co-chaired by Professor Tracey
McIntosh (Tūhoe), the Chief Science Advisor to the Ministry
of Social Development.

The expert panel’s work arose
from a request in 2019 from the Prime Minister.

website does not tell readers how to vote, but rather guides
them through the available evidence, with all its
uncertainties and flaws.

Juliet says that, “The key
question isn’t whether cannabis does harm – we know it
does for some users, but not for others. This is true
whether we legalise it or not. Rather the vote asks us to
decide whether a legal regulated framework will increase or
reduce cannabis-related harm.”

We recognise that the
topic is complex and multifaceted, so it is important that
people have trusted and accessible information on which to
base their decision, says Tracey. “We have drawn on

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