New Zealand could eventually become the first Asia-Pacific nation — and just the third globally — to legalize marijuana.
A binding referendum on legalization will be held together with the upcoming general election 2020, the authorities announced this week.
It’s ‘s a part of a confidence and supply agreement between the ruling Labour Party and the Greens, who welcomed the binding character of the vote.
“We’ve long advocated for a binding referendum with laws establishing a transparent, evidence-based regulatory frame. This waywe prevent a Brexit-type scenario figuring out exactly what a ‘yes’ vote means after the truth, and cut gray moral panic in the argument, ” Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick stated on Twitter.
Speaking in Parliament last month, Swarbrick blasted the hypocrisy of both MPs who confessed they had taken medication before but didn’t encourage legalization.
“A significant amount people (in Parliament) have admitted to breaking the law and consuming illegal drugs, ” she explained. “And today we preside over that legislation that penalizes individuals who participate in precisely the exact same behaviour. “
In accordance with some New Zealand Drug Foundation pollearlier this season, two thirds of respondents encouraged either legalization or decriminalization.
“We all know from surveys over lots of years a vast majority of New Zealanders support cannabis law reform,” explained Sandra Murray, a spokeswoman for the Cannabis Reform Coalition.
But, she stated details of precisely what Republicans would be requested were to be hashed out.
“It’s disappointing that people haven’t got clarity on the issue however, ” Murray stated. “Our coalition reiterates our taste for a two-part question which inquires firstly whether people encourage adults having the ability to own and grow cannabis for personal use, and secondly whether they encourage adults having the ability to get cannabis from licensed premises. This might be in the shape of a modular invoice which allows both branches to be passed, based on the results of the referendum. “
If New Zealand does legalize marijuana, it’ll be just the third nation in the world after Uruguay and Canada to achieve that. Nine states in america and the District of Columbia also permit recreational marijuana use, and the medication was decriminalized in many regions of Europe.
Marijuana legalization might just be the first of many referendums that New Zealanders vote in 2020: the government is still considering whether to hold votes on legalizing euthanasia and creating changes to electoral laws, based on Radio NZ.
Supporters of changing the marijuana legislation will hope for a more favorable result than the nation ‘s last significant referendum. In 2016, New Zealanders rejected altering the nation ‘s flag following a yearlong campaign which cost upwards of $17 million.