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Our Mates Across The Ditch To Hold Referendum On Legalisation Of Cannabis

Kiwis to vote in 2020

Our Mates Across The Ditch To Hold Referendum On Legalisation Of Cannabis Pexels

New Zealand is set to hold a binding referendum on the legislation of recreational cannabis, the government has announced.

The vote will be held along side the country's next general election in 2020. 

A cannabis referendum was promised as part of a deal by the Labour Party to get support from the Green Party to form a government after last year's general election and MPs have been mulling the timing and conditions.

Little said the wording of the referendum question was yet to be decided but the government would be bound to uphold the result. 

 A recent survey by the Drug Foundation found two-thirds of people supported either legalisation or decriminalisation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, remained tight-lipped about which way she would vote, saying it depended on the question.

Cannabis is commonly used in New Zealand and nearly 39 per cent per of Kiwis who took part in the 2017 Global Drug Survey said they had used it in the previous year.

The Cannabis Referendum Coalition said holding the vote alongside the election would also boost voting turnout.

"We are ready," group campaign manager Sandra Murray said.

"We are excited to be having the debate. We are focusing on supporting local areas to have an informed discussion about how reform will benefit their community, as well as how potential problems will be avoided."

The announcement comes after Kiwi MPs passed a bill last week that makes medicinal cannabis more widely available and sets up a licensing scheme for commercial growing.

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