Andrew Little released:
“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.
“That draft legislation will include:
A minimum age of 20 to use and purchase recreational cannabis,
Regulations and commercial supply controls,
Limited home-growing options,
A public education programme,
“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.
My preference is to have the legislation actually passed and triggered by the referendum but this is a second best option.
“The voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current Government have committed to abide by the outcome.
That is not binding. Look at Brexit where they promised the same.
“We hope and expect the National Party will also commit to respecting the voters’ decision.
I hope they do also but as the legislation is only draft, it means significant changes may end up occurring which could mean it doesn’t reflect what people voted for. This is why it is preferable to pass the legislation first.
The key will be how they deal with the sale side. The proposed details look quite good:
- A minimum age for use and purchase
- A limit to the potency of legal cannabis
- Limiting consumption to private homes and premises licensed for it
- Permit sale only through physical stores, not online or postal
- Require health messaging warning of ill effects
- Allow sharing of cannabis for small amounts but penalties for sharing with under age or in large quantities
This looks much better than the status quo. I would vote yes.