New Zealand will conduct a referendum on the question of regulation of cannabis market in the country for recreational purposes (legalization), so announced in the 2020 a short time ago the government.
This announcement comes a week after the approval of a new law to establish a medical cannabis branch in the country and to allow the use of medical cannabis for dying patients.
The announcement follows a promise made by the Green Party in coalition agreements signed after the victory of the Labor Party in the 2017 elections.
To date, cannabis is quite common in New Zealand and the police routinely overlook it as long as it is only self-use.
A study conducted by the New Zealand Anti-Drug Authority found that the legalization of cannabis could bring 240 $ 1 million annually to the state coffers of legal cannabis market taxation.
The referendum will be held next to the next general elections, which will take place in 21 in November, so that alongside the party's election, the residents will vote for and against legal cannabis.
In contrast to the Green Party, the opponents of the National Party, who called the decision "cynical", said they would vote against them because of the message conveyed to the public as if it were a normal thing.
According to the initiators of the referendum, they set the date for voting next to the general elections in order to encourage participation in the public debate on the issue.
Under the laws of New Zealand, a resident who is entitled to vote in elections and does not do so is liable to a monetary fine. Thus, voter turnout in the country is relatively high and stood in the last elections on 79%.
"We know from surveys that most New Zealanders support the amendment of the cannabis laws," explained Sandra Murray, a representative of New Zealand's legalization campaign. "We are now engaged in public relations campaigns."
Last week, a bill for the establishment of a medical cannabis branch in the country was approved as a result of another decision by Labor's new government, which replaced the national government that ruled the country in 9 over the past few years.
If New Zealand residents vote "in favor," the country will first become the eastern side of the ball, authorizing the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, after the other side has so far done Uruguay, Canada and 10 states in the United States.
The number of cannabis users in New Zealand is relatively high and according to the National Anti-Drug Authority no less than 80% of 21 boys and girls have experienced cannabis at least once in their lives. 10% are regularly used for this or that.
In Israel, a recent survey by the Bachar Institute for Strategy found that 71% of Israelis support regulation of the cannabis market, similar to alcohol. At the same time, there is no law in Israel that permits referenda.