NZ to hold referendum on cannabis legalisation

By Leith van Onselen

In the wake of recreational cannabis becoming legal in Canada last year, as well as nine states across the United States legalising cannabis, New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalisation during the next general election in 2020. From SBS News:

The referendum will a simple Yes/No question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced on Tuesday.

The draft legislation would include a minimum age of 20 to use and purchase recreational cannabis, regulations and commercial supply controls, limited home-growing options, a public education program and stakeholder engagement.

Little said the coalition government was committed to a health-based approach to drugs, to minimise harm and take control away from criminals.

The minister added that the voters’ choice would be binding, but it will be to up to the next government to enact the law.

“We hope and expect the National Party will also commit to respecting the voters’ decision,” Little said.

MB has argued repeatedly in favour of legalising cannabis on the following grounds:

  • It would bring cannabis into line with alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal and regulated despite being more dangerous to health;
  • It would guarantee purity of supply;
  • It would reduce profits to organised crime; and
  • It would provide a useful revenue stream for the government.

Indeed, the Parliamentary Budget Office estimated that the Greens’ plan to legalise and tax cannabis could be worth around $1 billion a year to the Budget, through a combination of additional revenue and savings being made by law enforcement agencies such as the Australian Federal Police.

If New Zealand’s referendum on  is successful, then it will place further pressure on Australia’s governments to follow suit.

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Comments

  1. hareebaMEMBER

    So what is the likely result? I would have the majority would be against it.

  2. The youngsters who will never afford a house will at least be comforted by cheap & legal dope.

    The modern version of bread and circuses.

    Sweet as, indeed.

  3. At last, a way to get young people to vote

    NZ will vote yes in spades. No brainer.

    Just getting a huge chunk of the prison population reduced over time and all the crap tied up in the criminal justice system eliminated will do budgetary wonders, and at last, taking away the revenue from the gangs.

  4. There is a bunch of stuff they can legalise and tax.

    9 L toilet bowls. 20 L per minute shower heads. Chewing tobacco.

  5. Strange Economics

    A good economic policy by the Au Greens? Amazing.

    If the Greens get in power in Australia then they can spend that $ 1 billion a year on all those aged parents that they will import – which in their complete ignorance of maths they think will lower the average age of australia, decrease congestion.

  6. FYI the ‘Help End Marijuana Prohibition’ party have nominees for the Upcoming Senate vote. Within 5 yrs will be legal and prohibition will go the way of franking credits,

  7. Prometheus69

    It would be nice to be able to get hold of some pure Sativa strains rather than the “Couch-lock” inducing Indica strains.
    Part of the problem with what is available on the streets these days is the overly strong, high THC stuff that is grown hydroponically.