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Cabinet Paper for Cannabis Referendum for New Zealand Leaked- Paula Bennett reveals the paper

Paula Bennett

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Paula Bennett, National’s Drug Reform spokesperson has released what she claims to be the leaked Cannabis paper which outlines crucial points and possible questions that could be asked in the upcoming cannabis referendum of New Zealand.

Ms Bennett is critical with respect to the leaked paper and she says that it will be considered by the Government tomorrow, as disclosed by 1 NEWS on Thursday.The Cabinet will consider all the four different options for the referendum, however no matter what option it chooses, there will be huge loop holes in the process. Ms Bennett further adds that according to the Cabinet paper, smoking marijuana before the age of 25 is detrimental for development of brain, however, it still recommends that the legal age to smoke weed should be 20.


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The National’s Deputy leader believes that the paperwriter is quite light on details and gives a just a brief of what the actual discussion would be about. There is no mention about the taxations imposed on marijuana, or fiscal revenues from the compound. It is difficult to presume about these matters, while one can argue if the tax on weed would be the same as on tobacco and alcohol, others wonder if marijuana will get rid from the illicit market if it’s taxed at 40% to 50%.

“Will a much higher tax rate be needed if they will test 10 per cent of the product to ensure THC levels are low?”

New Zealand is set to hold a referendum at the 2020 election on legalizing marijuana. It will discuss about the different aspects of marijuana and how it will affect their people and country as a whole. A regulated framework will also be created to ensure safe and legal use of marijuana, if approved.


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According to a release from Ms Bennett, the 2020 Cannabis Referendum proposals outlines 4 major options which includes the following:

  • A general question consistent with the undertaking in the Confidence and Supply agreement that would talk about if legalizing marijuana for recreational personal purposes should be considered. While this option will not be associated with any legal framework at the moment or other policy decisions, it will be left for discussion to a subsequent Parliament to determine the plan of action if the voters support in a ‘Yes’ for this particular motion.
  • A question referring to a proper legal framework document which would lay out the basic principles of what legalization for personal use of recreational cannabis in New Zealand would include. The main question here would be whether they support legalizing recreational cannabis in accordance with the published policy document or not. A ‘Yes’ vote would result in duly elected government and the Parliament having some moral imperative without any obligation to enact the law changes consistent with the policy document.
  • The third question would refer to the draft legislation that would outline the regulatory framework for cannabis asking whether they support legalizing the personal use of recreational cannabis in accordance with the published draft legislation or not. Just as in case 2, a ‘Yes’ vote would result in the duly elected government and the Parliament having some moral imperative without any obligation to enact the change of order in the law.
  • The last question would refer to the legislation already enacted but conditional on the affirmative vote on the referendum asking if they support legalizing recreational cannabis in accordance with the Drug Reform Act 20XX or not. A ‘Yes’ to the aforementioned question would trigger the legislation coming into effect.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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