New Zealanders will vote next year on a bill to regulate a legal cannabis market in the country (legalization), which will include strict regulations in a model similar to that of Uruguay - so Revealing Today (7.5) Justice Minister Andrew Little.
Minister Little said that the proposed bill would include restrictions on the concentration of THC in the products, and that each stage of the production process would require a government license. In addition he confirmed that as promised in the past, referendum results will be binding for the government.
The three parties that form the narrow coalition government in New Zealand agreed on the basic principles of the proposal to be raised for a referendum that would allow the use, possession, sale and growth of cannabis for adults older than 20.
According to the Justice Department, the main purpose of the law is to reduce the damage associated with unregulated cannabis and to protect the young population from the dangers it poses. The secondary purpose of the law is to attack criminals who trade cannabis on the black market.
The legalization model Which will probably be offered not as a free market as in Canada or the United States, but a model of government legalization such as that applied in Uruguay.
The precise details of the offer are still unknown, but it is reported that it will target as much government control as possible in the market and rigid regulations, including:
- Prohibition on the sale of cannabis online
- Prohibition of the use of cannabis in public
- No purchase under 20
- Banning the publication of cannabis products, and requiring the presentation of health warnings on the packaging
- A government licensing system for each stage of the supply chain
- Prohibition of importation of cannabis
- Limitations on THC concentration in products
The bill will be drafted up to next year's election (2020), and when residents get to the polls to vote for the prime minister they will vote either for or against the bill for legalization.
Critics of the bill argue that an excess of restrictions and regulation could hurt legal sales and leave the country a booming black market.
The reactions in parliament were mixed. Paula Bennett, a drug-dealing spokeswoman for the National Party of New Zealand, who heads the opposition, said she agreed with the purpose of the law but was concerned about some questions that remained open to her.
For example, she asked how it is possible to enforce a ban on consumption of publicly edible cannabis products, such as rubber teddy bears. In response to her question, other government members replied that there were also edible alcohol products and that the prohibition on their consumption in public was difficult to enforce.
She admitted that it was a problem with alcohol as well, but claimed that "people do not get drunk on some vodka-soaked sweets, but they can get high on some cannabis."
"We had to wait to see the results in Canada, which did legalization in October, before we began to legalize ourselves," she added.
Representative of the Green Party in New Zealand, which is this Which forced the government To hold a referendum on legalization as a condition for its entry into the coalition, said that "the Green Party supports the bill and will ensure that it is drafted according to a practical and scientifically based approach that will minimize the damage caused by drug abuse and addiction."
According to Survey In January, about 60% of New Zealand residents are expected to vote for the legalization of cannabis, 24% are likely to vote against, and 16% are still undecided.
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.