New Zealand may soon become the world’s third country to legalize marijuana. Alongside the next general election in 2020, there will be a binding referendum to legalize marijuana. This comes as part of the agreement between the Greens the ruling Labour party.
Chloe Swarbrick, Green Party MP said,” We have advocated in length for a binding referendum with the legislation setting out a clear, evidence-filled regulatory framework. This way, we can avoid a Brexit-type of situation where we are trying to figure out what a ‘yes’ vote means.”
Speaking in Parliament, Swarbrick put on blast the hypocrisy of MPs who had admittedly indulged in drugs in their high school days. On her Twitter, she said, “a good number of us in Parliament have personally admitted to bending and breaking the law and consumed illegal drugs. But now we preside over that law which sets penalties on those who engage in the same behavior.”
According to the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s poll earlier in the year, two-thirds of the respondents supported legalization and decriminalization. The spokeswoman for the Cannabis Reform Coalition, Sandra Murray said, “polls over a number of years has shown us clearly the support New Zealanders have on the cannabis law reform.”
The Way Forward
Sandra Murray continued to say,” it is disappointing that have no clarity on the question at hand. The coalition prefers a two-part question that first asks whether people support adults to be able to grow and hold on to cannabis for personal and recreational use. The second part of the question is whether they support adults to purchase cannabis from a licensed center.”
If this bill does go through New Zealand will be only the third country in the world after Canada and Uruguay. A total of nine states in the US and the District of Columbia has allowed the recreational use of marijuana and have gone a step further to decriminalize it.