PERSPECTIVES ON MARIJUANA POLICY IN NEW ZEALAND: 1990 AND 1998.
In 1990, some 5,000 New Zealanders This is a list of well-known people associated with New Zealand.
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc the drug. The survey found that marijuana had been tried by almost half of young adults in New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. . Throughout the 1990s there was a vigorous and diverse public debate on marijuana policy, often challenging policies and proposing alternatives. A follow-up survey of the same regions eight years later, in 1998, provides an opportunity to examine to what extent public views on marijuana have shifted.
This paper provides a brief overview of the history of marijuana use in New Zealand and examines the changing patterns of public attitudes to its use. It draws on the 1990 and 1998 regional surveys conducted in a metropolitan area (greater Auckland) and a provincial/rural area (Bay of Plenty) in 1990 and 1998. The paper concludes by looking at attitudes to marijuana use in these New Zealand surveys, in comparison with those from other countries with different cannabis cannabis: see hemp; marijuana.
Any plant of the genus Cannabis, which contains a single species, C. sativa. It is widely cultivated throughout the northern temperate zone. policies.
EVOLUTION AND CONTEXT OF MARIJUANA POLICY IN NEW ZEALAND
Marijuana use in New Zealand dates back to the end of the nineteenth century, when it was both inexpensive and widely available. Known then as "Indian hemp Indian hemp
see cannabissativa. ", and not classed as a poison or subject to customs duties Tariffs or taxes payable on merchandise imported or exported from one country to another.
Customs laws seek to equalize the charges imposed by other countries, furnish income for the federal government, and preserve the financial stability of domestic industries. , the leaf and resin were commonly used by doctors, nurses and midwives, and often included in drug companies' products (Yska 1990). However, by World War I, hemp hemp, common name for a tall annual herb (Cannabis sativa) of the family Cannabinaceae, native to Asia but now widespread because of its formerly large-scale cultivation for the bast fiber (also called hemp) and for the drugs it yields. was increasingly associated with opium opium, substance derived by collecting and drying the milky juice in the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. Opium varies in color from yellow to dark brown and has a characteristic odor and a bitter taste. and crime. In response to a growing international clamour clam·our
n. & v. Chiefly British
Variant of clamor.
clamour or US clamor
1. a loud protest
2. for legislative curbs on use, marijuana sale and use was made illegal under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927. Use then virtually disappeared until the drug's revival in the 1950s and 1960s, reflecting increased marijuana use in other countries, and changing social norms.
The drug's illegal status did not change in subsequent years. New Zealand's historically restrictive approach to marijuana use should be seen in the context of international policies against use of the drug, beginning with actions led by the League of Nations after World War I, and continued by its successor, the United Nations (Fastier 1998, Yska 1990). New Zealand, as a signatory sig·na·to·ry
Bound by signed agreement: the signatory parties to a contract.
n. pl. sig·na·to·ries
One that has signed a treaty or other document. to the United Nations 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is the international treaty against illicit manufacture and trafficking of narcotic drugs that forms the bedrock of the global drug control regime. Previous treaties had only controlled opium, coca, and derivatives such as heroin and cocaine. , the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is a United Nations treaty designed to control psychoactive drugs such as amphetamines, barbiturates, and psychedelics. During the 1960s, drug use increased greatly around the world, especially in Western nations. , and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Not permitted or allowed; prohibited; unlawful; as an illicit trade; illicit intercourse.
ILLICIT. What is unlawful what is forbidden by the law. Vide Unlawful.
2. Traffic in Narcotic narcotic, any of a number of substances that have a depressant effect on the nervous system. The chief narcotic drugs are opium, its constituents morphine and codeine, and the morphine derivative heroin.
See also drug addiction and drug abuse. Drugs and Psychotropic psychotropic /psy·cho·tro·pic/ (si?ko-tro´pik) exerting an effect on the mind; capable of modifying mental activity; said especially of drugs.
adj. Substances, is obliged o·blige
v. o·bliged, o·blig·ing, o·blig·es
1. To constrain by physical, legal, social, or moral means.
2. to assist with international efforts to control cultivation cultivation, tilling or manipulation of the soil, done primarily to eliminate weeds that compete with crops for water and nutrients. Cultivation may be used in crusted soils to increase soil aeration and infiltration of water; it may also be used to move soil to or , production and distribution of cannabis, as well as a broad range of other recreational drugs rec·re·a·tion·al drug
A drug used nonmedically for personal enjoyment.
recreational drug Substance abuse Any agent–most have significant psychotropic effects–used without medical indications or (Krajewski 1999). Signatories to these agreements employ different strategies in meeting their international obligations, and New Zealand's response has been to enforce laws that make cultivation, supply, possession and use of cannabis illegal, under the Misuse of Drugs Act Misuse of Drugs Act is the name of several similar national drug control laws passed by countries in the Commonwealth of Nations and by the Republic of Ireland. With the exception of Ireland's 1977 Act, they all sort drugs into three categories, Classes A, B, and C. 1975.
Although cannabis use is explicitly illegal under New Zealand legislation, in practice New Zealand employs a mixture of supply reduction, demand reduction and harm-minimisation strategies (Abel and Casswell 1998). New Zealand has also on occasion taken an independent stance on drug issues in the international arena, including criticising countries that blindly pursue a "war on drugs" (Delamere 1998).
The cannabis issue has often arisen in the political arena. In the 1996 general election, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (sometimes known as the ALCP) is a small political party in New Zealand (Aotearoa). It is dedicated to removing or reducing restrictions on the use of cannabis and similar substances. gained 1.6% of the party votes, under a Mixed Member Proportional electoral system electoral system
Method and rules of counting votes to determine the outcome of elections. Winners may be determined by a plurality, a majority (more than 50% of the vote), an extraordinary majority (a percentage of the vote greater than 50%), or unanimity. , making it the seventh most popular party. In 1998, a cross-party Parliamentary Select Committee, investigating the mental health effects of cannabis, concluded that cannabis laws should be reviewed (Health Select Committee 1998). However, this was rejected by the governing National Party, whose response to the committee stated that the "legal status of cannabis is not an issue that the Government intends to review" (New Zealand Government 1999).
Cannabis policy became the subject of considerable debate during the 1999 election campaign. In the build-up build·up also build-up
1. The act or process of amassing or increasing: a military buildup; a buildup of tension during the strike.
2. to the election campaign, the Green Party called for "legalisation n. 1. the act of legalizing; same as legalization.
Noun 1. legalisation - the act of making lawful
group action - action taken by a group of people of possession of cannabis for personal use" (Green Party of Aoteoroa New Zealand 1999). In the later stages of the campaign, Prime Minister Shipley criticised the Green Party's policy on cannabis use, which attracted widespread media attention (Espiner 1999). When voting was completed, the Aoteoroa Legalise Verb 1. legalise - make legal; "Marijuana should be legalized"
decriminalise, decriminalize, legalize, legitimate, legitimatise, legitimatize, legitimise, legitimize Cannabis Party had obtained 1.1% of the nation-wide party vote. Although this was a decline from 1.6% in 1996, it is believed that the attention given to the Green Party's policies led to some vote-switching (Gardiner 1999). The Green Party themselves polled 5.2% in the elections, entitling them to seven parliamentary seats (New Zealand Chief Electoral Office 1999).
Following the election, the new government announced its :intention to review the legal status of cannabis, in line with the December 1998 recommendations of the Health Select Committee (Espiner 2000). Should new legislation arise from the review, it seems certain to be debated in Parliament as a conscience issue (Bain 2000).
Two surveys on drug use by people aged 15-45 years were carried out in a metropolitan sample (the greater Auckland region
The Auckland Region is one of the sixteen regions of New Zealand, named for Auckland City, the large city at its heart. ) and a provincial/rural sample (Bay of Plenty) in 1990 (N = 5,125) and 1998 (N=5,037). All questions asked in the 1990 survey were repeated in the 1998 survey (Field and Casswell 1999).
Telephone numbers were selected from Auckland and Bay of Plenty calling areas using a stratified stratified /strat·i·fied/ (strat´i-fid) formed or arranged in layers.
Arranged in the form of layers or strata. random-digit dialling method, so that each household within the two regions would have an equal chance of being called. The method also helps ensure that the number of individuals surveyed in an area was proportional to its population aged 1545 years. Within each household, one person was randomly selected for an interview.
The 1990 and 1998 regional surveys used the Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit's in-house computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI CATI Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing
CATI California Agricultural Technology Institute
CATI Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation
CATI Carolina Association of Translators & Interpreters ) system. The response rate for the 1990 regional survey was 68% overall, and the 1998 survey achieved a 77% response rate, both of which were high for telephone surveys in New Zealand.
Since only one person was interviewed per household, survey analysis was weighted for household size, and statistical tests incorporated a design effect of 1.22, to account for increased statistical error. The survey results were analysed for the Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions combined, but differences between the two samples were investigated and reported where significant.
All differences reported were tested for statistical significance at a 1% level using parametric and non-parametric methods. Appropriate transformations were applied to continuous or nearly continuous variables prior to significance testing.
The results of the survey are summarised below. The main findings covered respondents': use of marijuana;
* perceptions of risk of harm from marijuana use; perceptions of the seriousness of the use of marijuana and other drugs as a community problem;
* perceptions of the acceptability of marijuana use under various circumstances; and
* opinions on current levels of enforcement of laws against using and selling marijuana.
The percentage of respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. in the regional surveys who had ever tried marijuana increased from 43% of the total sample in 1990 to 52% in 1998. This increase was at least in part a cohort effect The term cohort effect is used in social science to describe variations in the characteristics of an area of study (such as the incidence of a characteristic or the age at onset) over time among individuals who are defined by some shared temporal experience or common life . In 1990, respondents aged over 35 years were among those least likely to have tried marijuana, and by 1998, many of these people were outside the age range of the surveys. The 1990 prevalence levels among people aged 25 to 35 were carried through to the 35-45 age group in 1998. There was a small increase in the percentage who had used marijuana in the last year, from 18% in 1990 to 21% in 1998. However, this reflected a significant increase in use in the last 12 months in the metropolitan sample (from 18% to 22%), but not the provincial/ rural sample. Heavier marijuana use (smoking marijuana on ten or more occasions in the previous month) showed a trend towards an increase: from 2.4% in 1990 to 3.2% in 1998.(2)
Perceptions of Risk of Harm from Marijuana Use
All respondents in the regional surveys were asked how much they thought "people risk harming themselves" if they try marijuana once or twice; if they smoke marijuana occasionally; and if they smoke marijuana regularly. In general, perceptions of risk of harm from marijuana use did not change significantly between the two surveys. Thirty per cent in 1990 and 31% in 1998 thought trying marijuana posed no risk of harm; 11% in 1990 and 10% in 1998 thought occasional use posed no risk; and 1.5% in 1990 and 1.7% in 1998 thought regular marijuana use posed no risk of harm. There was, however, a small decline in the proportion of respondents who thought regularly smoking marijuana posed a "great risk" of harm, from 76% to 73%.
The small decline in perceptions of harm risk appears to have occurred alongside increases in use. Research among young people in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. has had similar findings: beginning in 1992, a decline in perceived risk in regular marijuana use preceded steady increases in use through subsequent years (Johnston et al. 1998).
In each regional survey, people were asked how serious different types of drug use were as community problems, using a scale from 1 (not serious)to 10 (serious). Responses were standardised Adj. 1. standardised - brought into conformity with a standard; "standardized education"
standard - conforming to or constituting a standard of measurement or value; or of the usual or regularized or accepted kind; "windows of standard width"; to ensure that the figures reflected only relative differences within each individual's responses.
In both 1990 and 1998, marijuana had the lowest rating as a community concern, behind tobacco use, alcohol use, other illegal drug use and solvent abuse solvent abuse Substance abuse The recreational inhalation of chemical solvents in model glue, paint thinner, 'white-out', nail polish remover, etc for psychotropic effects Epidemiology Adolescents–up to 15% have experimented with solvents, especially . However, concern relating to marijuana, alcohol and tobacco use increased between 1990 and 1998 (Figure 1). Concern about marijuana use was stronger in both surveys in the 15-17 year age groups, and steadily declined through older age groups (Figure 2). Although there was little difference in concern about marijuana between men and women in 1990, by 1998 women were generally more concerned than men.
[Figures 1-2 ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
Attitudes to Marijuana Use
Views on public acceptability of marijuana use were sought with respect to a range of locations: at a party; at the beach with friends; when children are around; before driving; and before work or study, with responses ranging from "acceptable to everyone" through to "acceptable to no one".
The perception of public acceptability in the regional surveys shifted towards less acceptance, when used around children, and at the beach (Table 1). Smoking marijuana at a party had the highest perception of public acceptability, but less than one in three respondents in each survey thought smoking marijuana at a party would be acceptable to most people.
Table 1 Perceptions of Public Acceptability of Marijuana Use in Different Contexts
Acceptable to: Most people/ Few/ No one Almost everyone/ Some Everyone Social Setting % % % At a party 1990 28 49 23 1998 29 46 25 At beach with friends 1990 16 50 34 1998 17 46 38(*) When children are around 1990 2 23 75 1998 1 19 80(*) Before driving 1990 4 23 74 1998 4 23 73 Before work or study 1990 2 25 73 1998 2 24 75
(Percentages are of total sample)
(*) statistically significant change between 1990 and 1998 surveys
Perceptions of Drug Law Enforcement Against Marijuana
In each of the regional surveys, respondents were asked their views of the current level of enforcement against using and selling marijuana, summarised in Table 2.
Table 2 Perceptions of Marijuana Enforcement, 1990 and 1998
Don't know Too light % % Using marijuana 1990 19 24 1998 16(*) 21(*) Selling marijuana 1990 16 56 1998 16 44(*) About right Too heavy % % Using marijuana 32 25 32 32(*) Selling marijuana 20 8 29(*) 12(*)
(Percentages are of total sample)
(*) statistically significant change between 1990 and 1998 surveys
A shift occurred between 1990 and 1998 on people's views of enforcement against people caught with marijuana for their own use, towards the laws being perceived as "too heavy". In 1990, 25% said they thought the current level of enforcement was too heavy; in 1998, this had increased to 32% of the sample. Those who thought laws were "too light" fell from 24% of the sample to 21%.
The proportion of respondents who felt the enforcement against people selling marijuana was too heavy increased from 8% in 1990 to 12% in 1998. The percentage who thought levels were "about right" also increased: from 20% to 29%, whereas those who thought enforcement levels were too light, declined from 56% of respondents in 1990 to 44% in 1998.
For both use and sale of marijuana, men were more likely than women in each survey to perceive enforcement as being too heavy. However, the proportion of both men and women who saw enforcement against use and sale of marijuana as too heavy increased from 1990 to 1998.
IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY
As parliamentarians and policy makers begin to debate changes in marijuana policy, the regional surveys provide indications of changes in public perceptions of marijuana. The surveys found some evidence of a relaxation in public views on enforcement against marijuana: by 1998 people were more inclined to think that enforcement against using marijuana was too heavy. A higher percentage of the respondents felt that enforcement against selling marijuana was too heavy, although almost half the sample in 1998 still believed enforcement was too light. Additionally, with regard to enforcement against use of marijuana, the percentage of respondents who said they didn't know or gave no response fell between the two surveys, suggesting some strengthening of viewpoints in response to debate on the issue.
The changes in views on marijuana enforcement occurred alongside an increase in the proportion of the age cohort cohort /co·hort/ (ko´hort)
1. in epidemiology, a group of individuals sharing a common characteristic and observed over time in the group.
2. 15-45 years who had used marijuana. By 1998, more than half of this cohort had tried marijuana, and those who had used the drug in the previous year remained steady at one in five respondents. A concurrent relaxation of views on enforcement is not unexpected in this context.
However, the surveys did not find evidence of general acceptance of marijuana use. The majority of people interviewed thought smoking marijuana would be unacceptable in many situations, and there was a strengthening of opinion against use around children and at the beach. Although ranking lower than other drugs, there was an increase in how seriously marijuana was viewed as a community problem, across all age groups. That use of marijuana in the previous 12 months remained a minority activity among respondents may in part reflect these views of the drug, as well as other factors such as marijuana's illegal status, and perceptions of risk of harm from use.
The differentiation in respondents' perceptions of enforcement, between use and sale of marijuana, is consistent with Australian studies on perceptions of marijuana use. A 1993 national survey found more than half of respondents felt that growing and possessing cannabis for personal use should be legal, while more than 80% felt sale of cannabis should be illegal (Bowman and Sanson-Fisher 1994). Similar conclusions can be drawn from the 1995 Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which found almost half of respondents supported legalisation of "possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use", and two-thirds supported increased penalties for sale of marijuana (Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services 1996). However, in response to a different question in both the 1995 and 1998 surveys, barely a third were in support of personal use of marijuana (and a range of other illicit drugs illicit drug Street drug, see there ) being made legal, highlighting the impact that question wording and context can have on responses (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 1999).
In the United States, the climate of opinion has prevailed against legalisation. Throughout the 1980s and continuing into the 1990s, polls consistently found a majority of Americans opposed to legalisation of marijuana, although opinion has moved in favour of use for medicinal purposes Medicinal Purposes is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Plot
Edinburgh, 1827. (Gallup Organisation 1999, Single et al. 1999).
Further evidence of changing attitudes to cannabis enforcement between 1990 and 1998 can be found in a New Zealand Herald poll published in January 2000. It found a small majority of respondents (56%) did not want cannabis laws liberalised, while 36% were in favour of change. This was a major shift in opinion from two years earlier, when 71% of respondents did not want cannabis laws liberalised (Sell 2000).
This study shows two contrasting perspectives on marijuana. On the one hand, the results of these regional surveys showed use was to a small extent more widespread, and also point to some relaxation of views on enforcement of marijuana policies. These findings may be signalling an ongoing movement of opinion in favour of change in this area. On the other hand, disapproval of use of the drug remained strong in 1998. Although ranking lower than other drugs, both legal and illegal, community concern about marijuana increased between 1990 and 1998. The survey results suggests that while more people are willing for policymakers to lift some restrictions on marijuana use, social norms still prevail against marijuana use in many situations.
Just as the historic evolution of New Zealand's marijuana laws occurred within an international context, so too does the current debate. While New Zealand parliamentarians weigh up the pros and cons pros and cons
the advantages and disadvantages of a situation [Latin pro for + con(tra) against] of changes in marijuana laws, a number of Australian state Noun 1. Australian state - one of the several states constituting Australia
province, state - the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation; "his state is in the deep south" governments have followed in the footsteps of several US states and lifted some restrictions on marijuana use (Single et al. 1999). These developments across the Tasman may have significant influence, and together with changes in public attitudes and use of marijuana within New Zealand, may provide impetus for policy change.
(1) This comparison survey was a project of the Alcohol & Public Health Research Unit (APHRU APHRU Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit ), which is funded as a core programme of the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand. The funds for data collection of this sample were provided by the Health Research Council as an investigator initiated grant to Professor Sally Casswell. The quality of the data collected depended on the dedication of the team of computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) interviewers, and of their supervisors. Brendon Dacey and Francesca Holibar coordinated the CATI team and the data collection process. Jia-fang Zhang, Michael Ford Michael Ford may be:
(2) This trend was statistically significant at the p [is less than] 0.05.
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n. 1. (Geol.) The west coast, or a portion of the west coast, of the Bay of Bengal.
Calamander wood. fray fray 1
1. A scuffle; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.
2. A heated dispute or contest.
tr.v. frayed, fray·ing, frays Archaic
1. To alarm; frighten.
2. " Evening Post 17 November, p.1.
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The University of Auckland (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau) is New Zealand's largest university. .
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2. By legalization, is also understood the act by which a judge or competent officer authenticates a record, or other matter, in order that the same may be lawfully read in evidence. Vide Authentication. of Marijuana" Gallup Organization, 9 April <http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr990409b.asp>
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lawmaking, legislating, legislation - the act of making or enacting laws in Australia and the United States, Drug and Alcohol Services Council, Adelaide.
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