It goes by many names and whether or not it should be legalised in New Zealand has attracted many views.
In Rotorua, there are people on both sides of the fence. As details of the Government's proposed 2020 cannabis referendum come to light, Zizi Sparks finds out how people might vote come referendum day.
Rotorua's leaders are divided over whether cannabis should be legalised.
Key community, health and education leaders spoken to by the Rotorua Daily Post have given their views ahead of a 2020 referendum that will ask whether they support a bill legalising cannabis.
The simple yes or no question is already prompting discussions across the community, with many falling on either side of the fence.
Vape Park Rotorua supervisor Matt Swinn said he was happy to support the referendum and the business owner was too.
"But we need things to be legalised before we march on."
Swinn said the adopted legislation would affect what the store did, but they might split it in two with half selling vape products and half marijuana products if that was allowed.
"It depends on what products we have access to.
"We would probably do what we do now with vape and offer a wide range ... It's different strokes for different folks, we've got to cater for everyone."
Swinn said legalising cannabis and regulating its access would also make accessing it safer for buyers.
Swinn said he used cannabis medicinally for pain and felt alcohol was a more harmful drug.
Big Read: What would legal cannabis in NZ look like, and is it a good idea?
Ranolf St Medical Centre general practitioner Dr Harry Pert said he supported the referendum because it made drug use a health issue rather than a criminal issue.
"I'm strongly in support of decriminalising and then, depending on the drug, legalising.
"Portugal is the best example. They've had a different approach of a big investment in treatment rather than enforcing and criminalising. People are encouraged to take up treatment for addiction and it has much better outcomes."
Pert said the war on drugs had failed.
"The question is, should it be a health issue or a justice issue? It's been a justice issue for decades and it's made criminals of tens of thousands of people. It clogs up the courts, impedes people's ability to seek employment and travel."
But Rotorua Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis said she would vote no in the referendum.
"Normalising a substance in our community could create another barrier for our young ones to access and excel in learning.
"There is clear evidence of the harmful effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain - as an educational leader I would like to express my concerns on normalising its use in the community."
Davis said she wasn't concerned by its use from a medical perspective, "if health professionals are able to provide clear guidelines monitoring its use in a health-related capacity".
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she did not want to comment on the issue because it was a discussion for central Government.
Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey, who has smoked before, said Māori needed to be a critical voice in the referendum.
"From sitting on the couch because a criminal record prevents employment, to wasting away in prison, current cannabis laws disproportionately criminalise our whānau, leave them unsupported and cripple their futures.
"It is time for a health-based approach, for a te ao Māori approach that swaps addiction for connection, and offers whānau with substance abuse issues manaakitanga, not punishment and stigma."
He urged New Zealanders to read the legislation and vote.
Rotorua-based New Zealand First deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau said he had never smoked cannabis and never would but a referendum was the only way forward.
"The people of New Zealand need to decide for themselves what their country will look like past 2020.
"I have always supported the availability of medicinal cannabis but not for cannabis for recreational use."
Tabuteau said the work being done by the Government provided New Zealanders with information on exactly what they were voting for.
"If the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders say yes in the referendum, then they must have confidence what they are voting yes to.
"Likewise, if New Zealanders vote against legalising recreational cannabis, more police will be needed to ensure that the criminal underbelly such as gangs are dealt with."
Rotorua MP Todd McClay said he was concerned by the move to legalise recreational cannabis.
"There's overwhelming evidence it's harmful, particularly for young people. At a time when homelessness is up, child poverty is up, mental health services are struggling, I can't see why the Government thinks this is a priority."
McClay said he would be concerned if there were shops selling marijuana in Rotorua.
"I think it would send the wrong message and be harmful."
McClay said he had a different view of medicinal marijuana.
"I think it's important to separate out the issues."
Street view: What would you vote in the cannabis referendum and why?
I would say no because some people that smoke that stuff go stupid over it.
Kris Roguski, 30
Yes! It's the only solution to the problem and it is such a nice thing.
Phil Keaney, 65
Probably no because I am worried of where it would take the country.
Mike Sargent, 38
Yes, you've legalised alcohol. People won't abuse it if it's legal.
Vera Bush, 61
If the public endorsed the legislation it would
- Allow products to be bought only in a licensed premise from a licensed and registered retailer, and ban online or remote sales
- Ban the use of cannabis publicly
- Control the potency of cannabis in available products
- Have a legal purchase age of 20
- Bring rules around private home-grown products and for sharing with those over 20
- Ban advertising of cannabis products, and require products to carry health messages
- Introduce a state licensing regime to control the supply chain and the manufacture of all products, such as resins and edibles
- Ban all imports of cannabis unless through a state-licensed wholesaler