Should the cannabis referendum have focused on decriminalisation?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 4:04PM
Mathew Bouma, 20, has proposed a citizen-initiated referendum to decriminalise cannabis. (Photo / Supplied)
Mathew Bouma, 20, has proposed a citizen-initiated referendum to decriminalise cannabis. (Photo / Supplied)

Should the cannabis referendum have focused on decriminalisation?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sun, 29 Nov 2020, 4:04PM

Another referendum on cannabis is being called for - but this time it's to decriminalise it, not legalise it.

Wellington Central Young Greens activist Mathew Bouma has recently put out a citizen-initiated referendum asking whether New Zealand should decriminalise the possession of cannabis for personal use.

He told Tim Roxborogh believes many people would feel more comfortable with this, than the full blown legalisation we voted on at the election.

"Under a legalisation model, if it's legal, it's commercialised really, so companies can sell it, they can profit of it, it's all above board.

"But what decriminalisation means is you won't be charged for possession." 

The proposal is open for comments on the proposed wording until February 1.

House of Representatives Clerk David Wilson and Bouma must then agree on final wording, and the issue will go to a referendum if Bouma can collect valid signatures from at least one-tenth of the country's 3.55 million electors - 355,000 people - within 12 months.

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