Thursday, December 12, 2019

NZ gov't unveils draft cannabis legalization bill

New Zealand Government Unveils Marijuana Legalization Bill Ahead Of 2020 Referendum | Marijuana Moment- Kyle Jaeger

December 3, 2019 - "New Zealand residents got a first look on Tuesday at details of a draft marijuana legalization proposal that will be the subject of a voter referendum next year.... The draft bill outlines the basic elements of establishing a regulated cannabis market for adults. It will be updated with more details, taking feedback into account, ahead of the referendum vote. If more than 50 percent of voters approve the legislation, the incoming government will have to enact a law legalizing marijuana for adult use.

"The measure, as proposed, would set an age limit of 20 to purchase cannabis products, require marijuana to be consumed in private residences and licensed facilities, mandate investments in public health education campaigns, impose restrictions on advertising and create a licensing scheme for marijuana businesses. Individuals could purchase up to 14 grams of cannabis per day and cultivate up to two plants for personal use....

"Justice Minister Andrew Little said ... that he’s invited representatives of each party to meet on Thursday to discuss the proposal.,,, The Cabinet also unveiled policy positions that informed their decision to make the question of legalization a referendum issue.

"The agreed-upon primary objectives of the legislation are to promote policies in order to 'minimize harms associated with cannabis' and reduce rates of marijuana consumption through education and treatment programs. The secondary objectives are to eliminate the illicit market, reduce the prison population and ensure quality control for cannabis products.

"Early details about the legalization proposal were first released in May. The referendum on the issue is the product of a deal that the Green Party struck after agreeing to help install Labour Party head Jacinda Ardern as the prime minister.

"In early 2020, a more comprehensive bill will be issued to ensure that lawmakers, stakeholders and the public have ample time to consider its various provisions before its put to a vote."

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