NZ Drug Foundation slams new report into cannabis legalisation harm

Data from a new report into the harm legalisation of cannabis has caused overseas has been slammed as "cherry-picked" by the New Zealand Drug Foundation.

There's just over a month left until New Zealanders vote in the cannabis referendum on October 17, and those advocating for Kiwis to vote 'Yes' and 'No' are ramping up their campaigns.

On Tuesday the Smart Approaches to Marijuana NZ Coalition, which is campaigning for Kiwis to vote 'No', released a new report into cannabis legalisation.

Say Nope to Dope spokesperson Aaron Ironside said there are lessons from marijuana legalisation overseas. 

"It shows a tidal wave of evidence demonstrating social harms in every area where cannabis appears," Ironside said.

The report looks at places where cannabis is currently legal including Canada, Uruguay and some US states.

"When cannabis is legalised things get much worse, there's an increase in the sale and use of cannabis, increase among young people, mental health outcomes, the list goes on," Ironside said.

But the New Zealand Drug Foundation, which is campaigning for Kiwis to vote 'Yes', said the public should rely on independent information. 

"The public deserves the full facts and this report is full of misinformation and cherry-picking of the data," spokesperson Ross Bell said.

Massey University associate professor Chris Wilkins agreed the report has a clear agenda but he believed the data is helpful.

Prof Wilkins recommended voters look at the Prime Minister's science advisor report on cannabis legalisation and the Royal Society report on cannabis health harms.

"A good approach is to look at the referendum website, and look at information from both sides and just have a think about what things you value."

With voting day just around the corner, just what Kiwis value will soon be made clear.