New Zealand May Hold Marijuana Legalization Referendum As Early As 2019

The people of New Zealand could vote on cannabis legalization as early as 2019, if lawmakers are able to finish the arrangements in time.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in 2017 she would let the New Zealand vote in a referendum on whether to legalize cannabis. The vote should take place within the next three years, the 37-year-old member of the Labor Party said at the time.

Recently, the government has discussed whether the referendum should be held along with the parliamentary elections in 2020, or next year. New Zealand’s Justice Minister, Andrew Little, told Radio New Zealand  in late May 2018 that the government is weighing the timing of the votes.

Chloe Swarbrick, a Green Party member, said she believes that the wording of the referendum still needs to be discussed.

“We’re still working through that, so we’re working with other government parties and inside our own caucus to discern what the best course of action will be,” Swarbrick told Radio New Zealand.

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