The New Zealand Medical Association, which represents doctors from a range of specialties, came out against legalisation last year.

At the time, chairwoman Kate Baddock said that in addition to physical harm, cannabis created social and psychological harm.

“What we would like to see is the Government undertaking targeted initiatives to reduce the social inequalities that increase the risk of harm from drug use and meaningful investment into education and treatment programmes.”

It also wanted a public education campaign to demonstrate that “soft”, or recreational drugs, could have serious and harmful effects.