Tuesday, 7 May 2019

ACT welcomes cannabis referendum

ACT Leader David Seymour has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a referendum on cannabis.

“Prohibition of cannabis has clearly failed. But we need to be sure any particular approach to legalisation will improve matters.

“The Government’s priority should be harm reduction, especially keeping cannabis out of the hands of children. That is also Canada’s policy objective, but they are two years ahead of us, we can learn from them what works.

“New Zealanders must also be in a position to cast an informed vote.

“Given the Treasury has estimated the Government could save $500 million a year by taxing cannabis and through reduced policing costs, this decision could have huge implications.

“The Government must ensure it is up to speed with developments in other jurisdictions so it can provide voters with the best possible information on which to make an informed decision.

“By the time New Zealanders vote, Canada will have had two years’ experience with the legalisation of cannabis.

“The Government should send commissioners to Canada to find out everything they can about that country’s experience with legalisation.

“I look forward to seeing the Government’s plans for providing quality evidence informed by the experiences of our friends around the world.”