16 Feb 2020

Prof Benedikt Fischer discusses the pros and cons of legalising cannabis

From Smart Talk, 4:06 pm on 16 February 2020
New Zealand Flag on cannabis background. Drug policy. Legalization of marijuana

Photo: 123RF

Nothing divides a room quite like one of the country’s burning issues of the moment: cannabis legalisation and its pros and cons.

What are the short and long term health effects of cannabis use? How would we best reduce cannabis-related health harms under legalisation? What will legalisation mean for young people? Would decriminalisation be a better option?

Cannabis plants growing.

Cannabis plants growing. Photo: 123RF

With the cannabis policy referendum looming, the country is scrambling to get to grips about what New Zealand’s best options are for cannabis control.

Benedikt Fischer discusses different models of cannabis legalisation, regulatory options for use and supply control, and the potential consequences of legalisation. His talk is based on scientific knowledge, and the recent history of different approaches towards cannabis which have been put into effect round the world.

About the speaker

Prof. Benedikt Fischer

Prof. Benedikt Fischer Photo: University of Auckland

Professor Benedikt Fischer is the Hugh Green Foundation Chair in Addiction Research at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Previously, he held senior academic positions including the Addiction Psychiatry Chair at the University of Toronto and the Applied Public Health Research Chair at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Benedikt’s interdisciplinary science focuses on health and social correlates of psychoactive substance use and related co-morbidities (such as mental health) as well as evidence-based interventions and policy. He has worked on public health-oriented frameworks for cannabis control for two decades and acted as scientific advisor to the Canadian Government in developing its cannabis legalisation framework.


Photo: University of Auckland

Raising the Bar was recorded in association with the University of Auckland