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New Zealand: Voting Option for Legalization

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New Zealanders should make decision on cannabis referendum

The government announced the details and how New Zealanders will choose to legalize and regulate cannabis, "said Justice Minister Andrew Little.

Little said the coalition government had pledged "to adopt a health-based approach to drugs, to minimize damage and remove control from criminals".

"There will be a clear choice for New Zealanders in a referendum at the 2020 general election. Cabinet has agreed that there will be a simple Yes / No question on the basis of a bill.

Referendum on cannabis planned in 2020

"This bill will include:

  • A minimum age of 20 years to consume and buy recreational cannabis,
  • Regulation and controls of the commercial offer,
  • Limited home-grown options,
  • A public education program,
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • "Officials are now empowered to draft legislation with the participation of stakeholders, and the Electoral Commission will draft the referendum question that will appear on the ballot.

"We hope and expect the National Party to also respect the voters' decision.

"I published today the document reviewed by the Cabinet, said Andrew Little.

The Minister of Justice has also confirmed that there will be no further referendums at the initiative of the government in the upcoming elections.

Read also Recreational cannabis in Vermont in 2017

The greatest opportunity for reform since 40 years

The referendum was part of a trust and supply agreement that the Green Party had negotiated with the ruling Labor party. Green MEP Chloe Swarbrick said the vote offered "the greatest opportunity for the reform of the cannabis law that our country has seen since 40 years".

She added that the bill will set out a clear regulatory regime to "avoid any risk of a Brexit situation, because people will know exactly what the future holds for them and how these changes will be implemented."

Tags : LawNew Zealand