Government’s Lack of Transparency on Dope Debate Misleads Voters

By October 15, 2020 Media Release

Media Release 16 October 2020
The SayNopeToDope campaign says that the government has not been open and transparent with the advice it has been receiving on the effects of legalising cannabis in New Zealand, meaning that many voters have not had all the relevant information that they need to make a fully informed decision.

The previous BERL report – which the government tried to hide – revealed that pot shops will be as noticeable in number as fast food outlets, and that usage will increase by almost 30% – and especially amongst 20-30 age group. It also confirmed a Big Marijuana industry, based on an annual tax take alone of $1b-plus annually.

This new advice to the government – which the government has also been forced to release by the Ombudsman – states that “there would almost certainly be unintended and unanticipated consequences of legalising cannabis for personal use”, and that “there is insufficient data to understand the medium- to long-term impacts”

“Even health experts are now saying that the Yes campaign don’t want to admit that cannabis use will go up despite the establishment of retail outlets and normalisation of drug use. There has also been little reference to health & mental harm and social costs which will explode with this increased use,” says spokesperson Aaron Ironside.

“Kiwis are most concerned about families, mental health and young people, and the possible effects of legalisation and what it would look like. The government should have released all and any advice they had received on this issue. They didn’t – and that begs the question, why not, and what are they trying to hide from voters.”