New Zealand residents got a first look on Tuesday of details of a draft draft marijuana legalization proposal that will be the subject of a voter referendum next year.
“The Government is publishing a draft bill at the point to ensure that New Zealanders are informed about the direction being taken and the decisions that have been made to date,” a summary states.
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 account.
If more than 50% of voters approve the legislation, the incoming government will have to enact the law legalizing marijuana for adult use.
The ensure, 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 can purchase up to 14 grams of cannabis per day and cultivate up to two plants for personal use.
The government wold establish a body called the cannabis regulatory Authority to regulate the industry, approve licenses for marijuana businesses, and promote public health. It would also be tasked with setting N excise tax so that the government the administrative costs of implementing a cannabis program.
The agreed upon primary objectives of the legislation are to provide policies in order to “minimize farms associated with cannabis “ and reduce rates of marijuana consumption through education and treatment programs. The secondary objectives are to eliminate the elicit market, reduce the prison population and ensure quality control for cannabis products. In early 2020, a more comprehensive bill will be issued to insure that law makers, stockholders and the public have ample time to consider its divisions before it’s put to a vote.
Polling released this week indicates that more New Zealand residents are apposed to legalizing cannabis (49 percent) than support the policy change (43 percent). While that’s a higher percentage in favor of reform compares to a June survey, the referendum’s chances of passes remain uncertain.