The New Zealand Cannabis Referendum - Details In Short

Posted by Aleshia Johnson on

On the 17th October in this year's General Election, you will be asked to make a choice on TWO different referendums. Before you cast your vote, it's important that you have all the information you need to make your choice. 

cannabis legalisation and control referendum

These two referendums are:

  • The cannabis legalisation and control referendum 
  • The end of life choice referendum

Both of these topics have held huge controversy in the past, and both have an impact on many people's lives in our country. It is crucial that you get to the voting stations and have your say in this year’s election. 

We are not experts in the matters of end of life or euthanasia, so we will not be addressing this topic. We are however experts in the field of cannabis and have a wealth of knowledge about this plant and the potential it could hold for New Zealand’s future. 

Remember to make sure that you are enrolled to vote.

What exactly are we voting on?

The cannabis referendum question will be asking you to vote on whether you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The proposed Bill sets out a way for the Government to control and regulate cannabis. This regulatory model covers how people can produce, supply, or consume cannabis. The Bill's main purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities.

Although a heavy public focus of this Bill is about the recreational use of marijuana, we believe this referendum provides an opportunity much greater than that. It is about opening access to the incredible variety of therapeutic, medical and economic benefits that various parts of the Cannabis species can provide. Hemp and marijuana are both forms of cannabis. 

If this Bill passes it will mean:

  • Access and deregulation of the hemp industry including all its economic and social benefits.
  • Better access for those needing cannabis medicinally
  • Millions of dollars of Tax revenue for our country
  • Tens of thousands of jobs created
  • Regulation, improved safety and education on a drug that is already used recreationally

Our team at Kōaka is supportive of this Bill and believes it provides an opportunity that will open up many more. We understand this is a complicated and controversial subject, and we encourage you to ask questions, create conversation amongst your whānau and friends, and read the resources compiled below. 


Further resources about the details of the referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill:

Referendum summary

The full draft of the proposed Bill

Why vote yes?

Drug Foundation

On Our Terms

Stuff: 'Cannabis referendum: how legalisation could change access for medicinal cannabis patients'

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