Cannabis reform moves into public domain

Cannabis reform moves into public domain

Wellington, May 7, 2019

Justice Minister Andrew Little (RNZ Photo: RNZ by Rebekah Parsons-King)

The Government has announced details of how New Zealanders will choose whether or not to legalise and regulate cannabis through a Referendum.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said that the Coalition Government is committed to a health-based approach to drugs, to minimise harm and take control away from criminals.

“The Referendum is a commitment in the Labour-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement, as well as a longstanding commitment from New Zealand First to hold a referendum on the issue. There will be a clear choice for New Zealanders in a referendum at the 2020 General Election. Cabinet has agreed there will be a simple Yes/No question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation, he said.

The Draft Legislation

Mr Little said that the Draft Legislation will include (a) A minimum age of 20 to use and purchase recreational cannabis (b) Regulations and commercial supply controls (c) Limited home-growing options (d) A public education programme and Stakeholder engagement.

“Officials are now empowered to draft the legislation with stakeholder input, and the Electoral Commission will draft the referendum question to appear on the ballot. The voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current Government have committed to abide by the outcome. We hope and expect the National Party will also commit to respecting the voters’ decision,” Mr Little said.

Please click here to read actual paper considered by Cabinet,” said Andrew Little.

Mr Little said that there will be no other government-initiated referendums at the next election.

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