The first time a country has ever put the decision to legalize marijuana in its citizens’ hands will happen in New Zealand.
The country’s Justice Minister, Andrew Little, has indicated that the issue will be voted on during the next national election, in 2020, The New York Times reports. This is unlike in the U.S. where referendum questions are asked just to gauge support of an issue. New Zealand’s results will be binding.
Political Commentator Audrey Young commented that public opinion is changing in the country. In October, a 1 News poll showed that 46% of the 1,006 polled voters support recreational marijuana legalization in New Zealand. And, last week, New Zealand’s Parliament eased restrictions on medical marijuana.
Young said, “That’s because of two things — the advancement in the medicinal cannabis regime and the law just being passed, and also just that gathering sense of global opinion that the war on drugs is lost and that the health approach is the one to take.”
Young also indicated that the Green and Labour parties in the country hope that younger voters will come out to support recreational marijuana legalization.