Govt releases 2020 cannabis referendum details

By Jessica Tyson

The government has announced details of the 2020 referendum where New Zealanders will get to choose whether or not to legalise and regulate cannabis.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says 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 and limited home-growing options.

It will also include a public education programme and stakeholder engagement.

Little says the voters’ choice will be binding because all of the parties that make up the current government have committed to abide by the outcome.

He says the government is committed to a health-based approach to drugs, to minimise harm and take control away from criminals.

 “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,” he says.

Little also confirmed there will be no other government initiated referendums at the next election.