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Greens hoping cannabis referendum will engage NZ public

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 December 2018, 8:59p.m.
The binding referendum will be part of the 2020 election. (Photo / File)

The Greens are to finally get their vote on whether recreational cannabis should be legalised.

The Government's announced a binding referendum will be held as part of the 2020 election.

The vote was part of the confidence and supply agreement with the Greens, who have long advocated for it's legalisation. 

MP Chloe Swarbrick told Larry Williams they are currently in the process of working out the question. 

"What we're hoping to do in the process of coming up with the legislation and policy over the next year or so is engage the public so we can get the best model that works for New Zealanders."

She says that we can look at what's worked for other Governments and what's worked when crafting our own legislation. 

"The best approach, from our perspective, would be to provide some form of legislation so that there was clarity for the New Zealand public around what we're debating here." 

Swarbrick says that it is a better use of tax payer money than the flag referendum, and throwing it in with the election means it is less likely that special interest groups can influence the decision. 

While the referendum is meant to be binding, the Labour-led coalition could be voted out of government in the 2020 election, opening the door for National to scrap the plan.

However, Swarbrick says that it would be set up similarly to the 1993 MMP referendum. 

"In the commencement clause says it would come into effect if there is a majority vote of the New Zealand public."

She says that polls over the past decade have shown people leaning in favour of some form of legalisation. 

Swarbrick says most officials are calling for some type of policy change. 



ON AIR: Overnight Talk

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