Auckland has the power to sway the 2020 referendum
The cannabis trend continues with increasing support for recreational cannabis legalisation. As citizens throughout New Zealand await the promised 2020 referendum on cannabis legalisation, the drug remains very much available through other means.
New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, is no stranger to the cannabis culture. But like other cities in the country, the anticipation for 2020 is high. With over a quarter of the country’s population residing in Auckland, it’s expected to have a huge impact on the 2020 referendum’s result. Auckland can swing the legalisation issue one way or the other.
Is cannabis legal in Auckland?
Cannabis is legal in Auckland — and New Zealand, in general — for medical use. In December of last year, a bill legalising cannabis for the terminally ill was passed.
While the government works on how to implement the new law, patients in serious conditions — those who don’t have much time left — are allowed to use cannabis immediately. Others will have to wait for those implementation wrinkles to be ironed out, and this means waiting about a year from the date the bill was passed.
As for recreational use, cannabis is not legal in Auckland. However, the support for such legalisation is quite high throughout the country. A 2017 New Zealand Drug Foundation/Curia poll showed that 65 percent of New Zealanders support cannabis for personal use.
With such a strong majority, buying cannabis in Auckland for personal use might just become legal after the 2020 referendum.
Auckland’s cannabis culture
Auckland, being the largest city in the country, will have a lot to say about the 2020 referendum. The city’s cannabis culture is supportive of legalising the drug, and it played a role in last year’s medical cannabis law.
For example, in September of 2017, the Auckland Patient’s Group held the 5th annual Queens Street Rally for Medical Marijuana, a march seeking a moratorium on medical cannabis prosecutions. Another rally was followed in November, commemorating 90 years of cannabis prohibition, declaring November 11 as “Armistice Day”. The rally sought a moratorium also, but for all cannabis users instead of just medical purposes.
There were also rallies in Auckland in 2018, with May 5th featuring the J Day protest against prohibition.
Auckland’s 2017 efforts eventually came to fruition with the Misuse of Drug Amendment Act, the medical marijuana law passed last year. Auckland’s Pot for Patients rally followed in August of last year, seeking safe access to cannabis for terminally ill patients.
Following these rallies, the Misuse of Drug Amendment Act was passed in December, answering Auckland’s call for legal medical cannabis. The city’s culture clearly shows increasing support for cannabis legalisation, and perhaps its upcoming demonstrations and rallies for such will result in legal cannabis for recreational use with the 2020 referendum.
Where do people buy cannabis in Auckland?
After the Misuse of Drug Amendment Act, patients can now buy medical cannabis in Auckland through pharmacists. While terminally ill patients who only have a short time to live were immediately authorised to purchase cannabis, others will have to wait for the government to work out implementation questions.
Recreational cannabis is not legal in New Zealand, and therefore cannot be legally bought in Auckland. However, cannabis is widely used in the city and is widely common throughout New Zealand.
This means that the buying recreational cannabis in Auckland means dealing with the black market — purchasing drugs on the streets and through other clandestine means.
How much is cannabis in Auckland?
Black market prices vary, but here are some common Prices.
A gram of cannabis which usually goes for $20. Suitable for beginners and light users.
- 50 bags:
About 3 to 4 grams of cannabis for $50. Suitable for regular users.
- Hundy Bag:
About 7 grams of cannabis for $100. Also suitable for regular users.
28 grams of cannabis, for regular, heavy users. Indoor grown ounces of cannabis go for about $300 to $350, while outdoor grown versions are between $200 and $300.
Again, recreational cannabis is still illegal right now, although enforcement for possession of small quantities is quite relaxed. Also, purchasing drugs through the black market is not safe. Black market dealings can result in violent acts and other crimes, low quality products, and scams.
Medical cannabis is now legal in New Zealand, and Auckland definitely played a role in that result. The country’s largest city conducted several rallies protesting prohibition, especially in regards to medical cannabis. Given the increasing public support towards an outright end to prohibition, it’s safe to assume that Auckland’s rallies will continue, and perhaps will have the effect of legalising cannabis in 2020, after the referendum takes place.