‘Individuals being criminalized for possession is not something I think most New Zealanders support’

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the decriminalization of cannabis is “just a rung below” legalization and she does not view it as a rejection of last year’s referendum on the plant, reports Newshub . A recent poll found that 69 per cent of New Zealanders either support full legalization or decriminalization of cannabis. New Zealand cannabis legalization expected to fail New Zealand police ground annual aerial cannabis hunt Was New Zealand’s ‘no’ vote on cannabis legalization a result of misinformation? In a referendum held late last year, cannabis legalization was narrowly defeated, when 50.7 per cent of voters said “no” to legal weed. Ardern faced criticism for not revealing her stance during the referendum. After voting was completed, she said she voted in favour of legalization . In an interview last week, Ardern said, “I share the view of many that the idea of individuals being criminalized for possession is not something I think most New Zealanders support,” according to Newshub . “That’s why we’ve already made substantial changes to our drug laws so that if police find someone in possession of cannabis, the assumption has to be that it’s treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue,” she continued. Writing in The Guardian , Fiona Hutton, an associate professor in the Institute of Criminology at New Zealand’s Victoria University, said the “no” vote was a victory for misinformation. “Nowhere was the stigma so clear than in the advertisements of the no campaign — based on outdated moralized notions of those who use drugs, influenced by right-wing religious groups from the U.S.,” Hutton wrote last year . The “Say Nope to Dope” campaign was one of the loudest critics of the referendum and received its information from the U.S. organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). SAM…

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Source : ‘Individuals being criminalized for possession is not something I think most New Zealanders support’

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