New Zealand is without a doubt a country that is known for attracting tourist by boasting about their clean and green country. Well, after 2020 it is possible that the country might be greener than it has ever been.
And, this is because there is a referendum being held that year based on whether the country should legalize recreational cannabis or not. In fact, as of right now it appears that New Zealand will be the first country to put the issue to a nationwide vote.
Included With The Next National Election
It seems that this vote was slated to take place in 2020 because this is when the national election is going to be held. They wanted the vote to be held on the same ballot to make matters more efficient. Of course, this could play a major role if voters get involved.
Voters might be able to force the matter either way. However, it seems that the government itself is not completely against marijuana as they just recently passed a law that reduced the restrictions on medical marijuana.
And, that is when this announcement was made to the public. Of course, there are still several details to sort through before everything is finalized, but it seems that marijuana dispensaries are very excited.
Public Opinion Has Increased
It really is no secret that New Zealand’s public opinion regarding recreational cannabis has greatly changed over the years. In fact, an October poll that was counted by 1 News showed that most of the public was in support of legalizing marijuana.
The poll showed that 46 percent of those questioned favored making it legal while only 41 percent were opposed. The poll involved 1,006 eligible voters so it seems things are looking good for the cannabis community. It seems that there are two distinct things that really swayed the public’s opinion.
One thing was that there is now more medical research available that medically proves just how beneficial marijuana can be. The second thing was the recent announcement that the war on drugs was lost and it is best to approach cannabis from the health standpoint.
It Will Take More Than Half The Voter
It will take more than half of the voters in support of legalization to get the substance legalized, but from the above poll conducted by 1 News, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be a problem. If this is the case then New Zealand will join a handful of other countries that have already legalized recreational marijuana.
This includes the United State, Canada, and Uruguay. Along with this, even more, countries and states have decriminalized recreational use and legalized medical marijuana. Or, at the very least they have eased enforcement of possession laws.
In 2015 the New Zealand’s Ministry of Health conducted a poll asking the citizens about how many of them consumed cannabis in the previous year. It showed that only eight percent of people acknowledged that they consumed cannabis the previous year.
Of course, it wasn’t reported how many people were polled and you never know if those polled lied. It seems that small-scale personal use of marijuana is already begin ignored by the New Zealand authorities just like in the United States. It really is the minorities that are likely to be arrested and prosecuted for possession or consumption.
New Zealand Take A Liberal Approach
It is true that New Zealand has always taken a liberal approach to its politics, but neither the center-right National nor the center-left Labour was willing to touch the subject of recreational marijuana. Fortunately, that all changed in September 2017.
The Labour side of the government found itself in a predicament where it had no choice but to put cannabis legalization to a vote. You might even be surprised to learn that there are several politicians and parties that support the cause.
Once such party is the Green Party. They announced that they hoped the government would pass a law before the referendum that spelled out how legalization would work. This would spell out clearly what and why voters are voting on the subject at hand. They want complete transparency and wanted everyone to understand exactly what a yes vote would mean.