Cannabis vote next year?

We may be getting a referendum on cannabis use next year?

Radio NZ reports: Quote:

New Zealanders may get to vote on legalising marijuana next year.

The government is currently debating whether to hold the referendum in 2019 because it’s not sure holding it at the 2020 General Election would be a smart move politically.

The referendum on legalising marijuana was part of the confidence and supply deal struck between Labour and the Greens – although Winston Peters’ backs one too.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the government’s contemplating holding it next year, rather than in 2020.

“There’s two competing issues, one is it would be convenient to have it then (2020) we’ve got a General Election so we’re already running a ballot there.

“On the other hand, there would be other colleagues who would say ‘well we don’t necessarily want a General Election run on this particular sort of issue, so let’s have it at a different time’ – that issue hasn’t been resolved and it will be a little while before it is, I suspect.”

Mr Little acknowledged the government had a lot of work to do before any vote. End quote.

Oh, rubbish on the work needed. Plenty of people already support legalisation. It’s been around for ever, and it grows everywhere. It is sensible to join the march for legalisation of cannabis. Quote:

“We need to make sure there is good public information out there, good events for people to express their views, so that would dictate a timing that would be no earlier that late 2019.”

He said the government still did not know what sort of legalised marijuana system it will propose putting in place.

“We simply haven’t got anywhere near that, I think it’s about getting the mechanics of the referendum sorted, then I think obviously some discussions around scope and maybe some options there.

“The critical question is going to be, what is the question to go to the electorate with, one that makes sense and gives a meaningful answer and gives a mandate if it is approved to proceed with further work – if it’s not approved of course it’s all over.” End quote.

Just get the referendum done and then sort out the issues. Solutions are everywhere, from Portugal to Colorado. We aren’t special. Just add cannabis to the regime for alcohol and tobacco. Quote:

Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell agreed the question was key.

“How can you capture everything you need to in terms of protecting public health, protecting young people, raising money to put into health and education, how can you wrap all of those issues up in a single question?

“And I think that’s going to be a real challenge for them, which again is why it’s going to be really important that the public education, public engagement on this issue is run really well.” End quote.

What tosh. No more people will use cannabis than use it now. So the health issues aspect is already well known and managed currently. Except, with legalisation, comes revenue in the form of taxes, so apply some of that to the health issues. It would certainly be better than the current situation.

Legalising and controlling is way better than letting gangs continue to control the current market.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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