From the Guardian –

More background on the NZ No vote winning the day…

Sadly New Zealand has voted no to legalising cannabis, but it was close: 48.4% voted in support of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill and 50.7% voted against.

As someone who campaigned hard for a yes vote, for much needed reform of our drug laws, I am reduced to tears. I have been receiving heartbreaking emails from people thanking me for my work to try and get the evidence out there, to try and stem the tide of fear-mongering and misinformation about cannabis and those who use it.

People are weeping for their communities, families and friends who have been affected by drug laws over the decades since the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1975 was introduced in Zealand, for the lost opportunity for reform, and most of all for those marginalised and vulnerable communities who will continue to bear the brunt of our outdated drug laws that are no longer fit for purpose.

The result also doesn’t help those who have to live with the stigma of drug-related convictions. During a recent research project, I talked to New Zealanders living with the stigma of drug-related convictions. Consider the person who said: “I was broken for quite a long time [after being convicted of cannabis possession], I was always living with that in the background.”

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