Here’s why you should vote for legalisation of Cannabis in the NZ Referendum
About one week after legalising medical cannabis on December 11, 2018, the New Zealand government announced a referendum on marijuana. Justice Minister Andrew Little stated that this binding referendum on personal cannabis use will be held during the 2020 general election.
According to a newly revealed survey, 60 percent of New Zealand (NZ) citizens would vote in support of cannabis legalisation for personal use, if asked in a referendum. Commissioned by Helius Therapeutics, a New Zealand-based medical cannabis company, this poll of 995 participants revealed that 84 percent of Green Party supporters would vote “Yes”, while 14 percent will say “No” to the legalisation.
The survey concluded that 63 percent of Labour voters would be in support, while 17 percent will oppose the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
How New Zealanders would vote in on the upcoming recreational cannabis referendum?
From this latest survey, it appears that cannabis legalisation is certainly going to garner support from New Zealanders. Here are the five reasons why you should vote for cannabis legalisation in the NZ referendum.
Reasons to vote for cannabis legalisation in NZ referendum
1. Cannabis is less addictive and harmful than alcohol and tobacco.
A comprehensive study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine suggests that millions of Americans have tried cannabis, but most are not regular users. Although some of them developed a dependence on cannabis, they are less likely to do so than the users of other drugs and substances, including nicotine and alcohol.
Also, even the most potent cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributes around 40,000 deaths annually in the United States to alcohol use alone and zero deaths to marijuana. In fact, globally, alcohol accounts for 3.8 percent of deaths and 4.6 percent of diseases. More specifically, New Zealand has 600 to 800 alcohol-related deaths each year.
These facts suggest that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, and the latter may not be harmful at all with guided use.
2. Legalization will introduce new job and business opportunities.
Cannabis has birthed a whole new industry in countries that have legalised the plant, introducing numerous job and business opportunities for people.
According to the laws in your jurisdiction, you can start a business in cannabis production, open a cannabis store, start an edible company, open a manufacturing facility for cannabis accessories, provide security services, become an event planner, and even provide cannabis guided tours. The legal cannabis industry offers virtually endless work opportunities and has a role for everyone.
3. Regulated cannabis market will replace the underground black market, thus reducing violence and crime rate.
According to the Drug Harm Index 2016, around 26,000 dependent cannabis users -- and an additional 250,000 casual users -- are consuming 27,000 kilograms of marijuana per year overall, or an average 100 grams per user. Nearly $40 million from illegal marijuana was ploughed into the black market.
New Zealand’s cannabis black market involves gangs, small-scale and ad hoc drug producers, and dedicated non-violent growers. It is hard to estimate the scale of illegal production and supply of cannabis within the country. These unlawful activities give rise to the crime rate and violence.
Legalisation of recreational cannabis will destroy, or significantly reduce, the underground black market and will bring in the well-regulated and fully-controlled legal market, reducing the crime rate.
4. You can consume marijuana in many other ways than smoking, such as vaporizing, edible products, and capsules.
Not everyone prefers smoking weed. Luckily, there are many other ways to ingest cannabis than smoking it. Cannabis edibles and beverages are hot trends in the marijuana industry. You can buy cannabis-infused chocolate bars, bear gummies, cookies, baked goodies, and many marijuana-infused drinks as well.
The drug is now available in skin care and beauty products like mascara, body lotions, creams, body oil, balm, and soap bars. You can even use it in the form of capsules, strains, tinctures, and vaporizers.
5. Criminalisation is dangerous for workers as well for our environment.
In an unregulated illegal industry, cannabis-related well paid and full-time jobs are forced underground where employees are exploited and denied basic labor protection. People’s wages are stolen or not paid, and some illegal cannabis organizations sexually assault their employees. Such suffering employees can’t go to the police as they are participating in a drug conspiracy against the law.
Unregulated drug markets often result in damaged land and water, clearing of forests and native vegetation, poisoning of wildlife, polluted river systems, and the dumping of pesticides and fertilizers.
The reasons for cannabis legalisation are endless. Perhaps, it can be argued that the benefits of legalisation surpass the reasons for prohibition by far. As long as alcohol and tobacco are acknowledged to be more damaging than cannabis, almost any argument against legal marijuana seems puzzling.
Cannabis has also been cited for its health benefits. Neither alcohol nor tobacco provide such benefits, but yet they are legal. Cannabis also promises a booming market capable of significant economic benefits, from jobs to taxes. All these reasons are enough to understand why you should vote for legalisation of cannabis in the upcoming 2020 New Zealand referendum.