New Zealand will vote on a recreational cannabis legalization referendum in 2020, the government announced on Monday. Following a decision by the cabinet, Justice Minister Andrew Little said the vote will be a part of the national general election taking place that year.
“We know when it will be, we have a commitment that it will be binding, and now it is just a question on filling in the detail from there,” Little said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party formed a coalition government last year based in part on assurances to other parties that a cannabis legalization vote would be held soon. The Labour Party leads a three-way coalition government with the Green Party and populists New Zealand First (NZF).
Broad Support for Legalization
The legalization of recreational cannabis is widely supported in New Zealand. A 2017 poll found that nearly two-thirds favored the legalization of cannabis possession and more than 80 percent supported allowing the use of medical marijuana patients with terminal illnesses.
The Green Party applauded the announcement of the legalization vote. Chloe Swarbrick, a Green Party spokesperson, said that it is time for Parliament to catch up with the voters.
“We’ve had countless opinion