The complete and final version of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill that will be voted on in one of two referendums at this year’s General Election was released today by Justice Minister Andrew Little.
Publication of the exposure draft Bill on referendums.govt.nz follows the release of an interim version of the Bill in December last year and is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring the voting public have ample opportunity to be informed ahead of this year’s referendums.
“It is important that all eligible voters have the opportunity to be informed about the upcoming referendums. The Government is committed to providing impartial, unbiased information on the referendums and its process,” Andrew Little said.
The exposure draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has been updated and includes details about:
· how the cannabis market would work and the phased introduction of cannabis starting with fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis plants and seeds
· how the regulation of consumption premises would work
· the approvals process for cannabis products and which products would be prohibited
· the licensing requirements
· how the Bill proposes to reduce young people’s exposure to cannabis; and
· infringements and penalties
No further updates of the Bill will be made before the referendum.
The wording of the cannabis referendum question has also been confirmed as a straight Yes/No question:
Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?
Yes, I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill
No, I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill
Website content on the second referendum, on the End of Life Choice Act, has also been updated. The wording of the end of life choice referendum, set in the Act, is also a straight Yes/No question:
Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2017 coming into force?
Yes, I support the End of Life Choice Act 2017 coming into force
No, I do not support the End of Life Choice Act 2017 coming into force
Plain English explainers have been added to the Government website, www.referendums.govt.nz for both the draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill and the End of Life Choice Act.
Further information on each of the referendums, including downloadable fact sheets translated into multiple languages and a range of accessible resources will be made available at www.referendums.govt.nz in the near future.
Explanatory material on both referendums, will also be included in the Electoral Commission’s enrolment update and EasyVote card mailouts to voters in the lead-up to this year’s election.
“It is important that the public feel they can meaningfully participate in the referendum. To do so, the public need to be able to access factual and impartial information.
“The referendum is a commitment in the Labour-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement,” Andrew Little said.
Media contact: Georgina O’Reilly 027 338 5018