Voyager 2021 media awards

The Road Ahead: 'Cannabis users aren't degenerates - they're normal'

Abe Gray is the TOP party Wellington Central candidate and advocate for cannabis law reform. Photo / Mike Scott.

"Wouldn't it be a shame if we got through this whole referendum process, even if it was successful, and it's still taboo to say in New Zealand polite society that cannabis can be fun? It can be funny. It can be inspirational. You know, people that use it aren't degenerates. They're normal." Gray is optimistic about the referendum, and especially so in a Covid-19 world. "I think it makes people think about what is really important and the culture war and moralising is probably not one of the most important things when it comes to what we've all just been through as a country. Getting all bothered about whether somebody smokes cannabis in their own home responsibly seems a little bit trivial."

As New Zealand prepares for an historic election in the worldwide grip of Covid-19, reporter David Fisher and visual journalist Mike Scott spent three weeks on the road to find out what we're thinking. In Wellington they found cannabis campaigner Abe Gray from the Opportunities Party and Act's Brooke van Velden, who supports legalised euthanasia.