How a cannabis referendum might look

With the possibility of a referendum on personal use of cannabis, perhaps as soon as next year, there has been discussion on how a legislation followed by referendum approach might work.

In January Graeme Edgeler posted:

There is a good way to conduct government-initiated referendum, and there are bad ways to conduct them.

Yesterday he tweeted suggested wording for a cannabis referendum adapted the language used in the 1993 MMP referendum.

I think that would be a good approach on cannabis, and similar on euthanasia.

Parliament debate and vote on legislation, to be approved by a binding referendum  – binding in so far as a commitment by MPs and parties to abide by the result and allow the legislation to come into effect.

This wouldn’t stop later changes in law, as can happen with any law.

10 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  May 26, 2018

    I vote to l to change the law so cannabis can be legally sold.
    Gee what gang is he a member of?

    • Griff

       /  May 26, 2018

      The gangs will be the big losers of we go to a legal market.
      The product will need to be tracked from grower to retail outlet just as alcohol is for revenue collection.
      A simple background check will stop gangs controlling the production.
      ‘They dont really control the sale with a large proportion grown and sold by individuals with no gang links. Much of the trade is based of individuals who only grow a few pounds a year and sell OZ’s to a small personal contact based market of mature smokers. These small grower based networks supply quality bulk product though word of mouth. If they do find a supply many users flick some on at cost or for a small margin if they brake down oz’s to smaller quantity’s to their contacts.
      What gangs do control is tinny houses that sell small amounts in large retail volumes to youth.

      This control of retail sales means that youth who are more inclined to take risks also get exposed to P ,stolen goods and the gang life styles .
      The gangs that run the tinny stores are flashing around money and toys that encourage youth to get involved . Kids see these scum with the latest cell phone a v8 Holden and the rest of the tat and see it as a career path.The gangs use underage kids to front the houses as they will not go inside for supply if charged by the cops. Recruitment by gangs would be compromised if we had a legal well controlled market . Having a R21 limit on sales will not stop all young peploe getting cannabis but it will make it harder for them to purchase. Kids now find it easier to get a tinny than to buy alcohol or tobacco due to the lack of control over the black market .

      In places were it has become legal the successful retailers gravitate towards high end quality products in a modern retail environment.
      Not a back door in some scummy part of town.

      i have always preferred to purchsa
      What the gangs do control is retail sales via tinny houses .

      • Zedd

         /  May 26, 2018

        @Griff
        I prefer the words ‘Legal Regulation’ on this issue; Legal, but with STRICT rules. This should include things like; licensed growers who can only grow limits quantity & onsell to licensed suppliers (like coffeeshops) to then retail sell (taxable) to the public. BUT I also think that adults should be allowed to grow a couple of plants for personal use (not for sale) at home. (like homebrew beer)
        All licensed growers/suppliers would be subject to an annual license fee & tax remittances

        There should be a limited number of licenses issued to keep strict control on it eg Hikurangi

        The focus needs to be on ‘Harm minimisation’ keeping it out of the hands of youth <18, not zero-tolerance

        • Griff

           /  May 26, 2018

          Licensed growers and retail outlets are a given very much like we presently do with alcohol and tobacco.
          Trace the product all the way from seed to retail store.
          Quality controlled and potency documented.
          Tax it with some of the revenue used to educate, support those who develop addiction issues and research into the effects on society.

          In a sane world the tax rate on drugs would be apportioned on the costs the individual drugs have on society.

          Preferably a market with an entry point not too burdened by costs and red tape to make small bouquet production and retail viable.
          It would be better if we made it harder for corporateization of the supply chain like we see with a few large company’s supplying the alcohol market.
          R21.
          Limit on personal possession and number of plants for own consumption
          Say up to 3oz or three plants.
          Allow coffee shops for on premise consumption and retail sales.
          Councils to permit activity as acceptable at the local community level.

  2. Zedd

     /  May 26, 2018

    I emailed an MP (involved in this) & suggested they perhaps have a two step approach (as with the ‘Key-flag’ referendum)

    1) put up a few proposals: ‘decrim’ adults use (similar to dutch coffeeshops) OR full legal regulation (similar to Colorado etc.) OR other options

    2) put the most popular choice, up against ‘Status Quo’ (MODA 75, prohibition)

    The outcome needs to be BINDING, or whats the F@cking point doing this ?
    ‘YES the people have spoken, but we dont like it & wont implement it’ that is NOT democracy !!

    • Kevin

       /  May 26, 2018

      I’d like a multi-choice approach going from most restrictive to least restrictive eg.

      1. Keep cannabis illegal under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
      2. Decriminalise possession of small amounts.
      3. Legalise for sale and personal use but only at license premises.
      4. Legalise for sale and personal use at licensed premises and home.
      5. Full legalisation.

      Then you’ve got who can be allowed to grow it, advertising regulations etc.

      • Zedd

         /  May 26, 2018

        @kevin
        if you do a ‘multichoice in one vote’.. as you suggest ?
        you may not get a clear picture OR the split across your points #2-#5 could leave #1 (status quo) as the biggest percentage, eg 1) 25%, 2) 20% 3) 20% 4) 20% 5) 15%
        meaning 25% for status quo, 75% want some reform: but individual figures, do not make this clear !

        Is this really what you support ?

        • Kevin

           /  May 26, 2018

          You choose one option and only one option. Then whatever option gets the most votes wins.

          • Zedd

             /  May 26, 2018

            thats what Im saying; 4 options are pro-reform & only 1 is not.
            BUT it could be that a split vote/percentage across the country, leaves #1 as the biggest percentage.. even if the majority vote for the other 4 options

            This is why I suggest that we choose the preferred ‘reform option’ first, then put it up against the ‘status quo’ option (similar to the flag ref. )

  3. Traveller

     /  May 26, 2018

    Working Group please