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New Zealand will hold their long-promised referendum on cannabis legalisation in 2020

Ahead of Happy Mag Issue 10, our inaugural Drug Issue, we’re throwing our voice into building a more drug aware world. Find out more about Issue 10 here

When the New Zealand population vote for the country’s next leader in 2020, they will also get their say on whether recreational cannabis should be legalised.

A referendum will be held and will be binding, an act which is assumed to boost poll turnout.

New Zealand will hold a binding referendum on whether recreational cannabis should be made legal in the lead-up to the next general election in 2020.

A referendum on cannabis was assured by the Labour Party after it made a deal with the Greens ahead of last year’s general election, which helped to form a coalition government. However, the Arden government has cautiously steered-clear of setting a non-binding agreement.

The announcement came from the country’s Justice Minister Andrew Little on Monday.

“We know when it will be, we have a commitment that it will be binding, and now it is just a question on filling in the detail from there,” he said.

This statement comes the week after a bill was passed in NZ which makes medical marijuana more accessible, as well as improved licensing for commercial growing.

Sandra Murray, group campaign manager at the Cannabis Referendum Coalition 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.”

A Drug Foundation opinion poll in 2017 found that two-thirds of New Zealanders supported either legalisation or decriminalisation.

According to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, 39% of kiwis said they had used cannabis in the past year.

Via BBC News.

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December 20, 2018