The coalition Government is close to reaching agreement on the wording for amendments to the Medicinal Cannabis Bill due for a second reading in Parliament.
Meanwhile a referendum on the full decriminalisation of cannabis will be held by 2020 and the two issues risk becoming conflated as medical cannabis regulation setting may take until 2020 and coalition party New Zealand First want a binding referendum held in 2019.
Hikurangi Cannabis Company is speaking at a conference on the referendum in Wellington this week organised by the Cannabis Referendum Coalition. The event also includes MPs Chlöe Swarbrick, Greg O’Connor and Ginny Anderson, patient activist Rebecca Reider, economist Dr Eric Crampton, Dr Fiona Hutton, Nandor Tanczos and the Cannabis Coalition team along with a presentation from former Prime Minister Helen Clark. Register here: https://eventfinda.co.nz/2018/cannabis-referendum-conference-2018/wellington
The New Zealand Drug Trends Survey of 6300 New Zealanders by Massey University carried out between November 2017 and February 2018 found less than one in five support retaining the current prohibition policy for recreational cannabis use.
Associate Professor Chris Wilkins, who led the study, said he thought respondents were a good broad demographic representation of the population, although with some bias.
They were asked which of 10 options they favoured for managing recreational cannabis use, ranging from the present prohibition, through to a profit-driven market with no restriction. While just over one third of participants do not have a preference, of about 4100 people who did show a preference, the most popular option was for home production and use only, with 27 per cent support. Another 21 per cent favoured a profit-driven market with light restrictions, similar to that in force for alcohol, while 19 per cent wanted to keep the existing situation with prohibition and criminal penalties.