Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Cannabis Referendum Result Announced Today: Compromise And Consensus Are Needed, Says NORML

At 2pm today New Zealand will learn the preliminary results of the referendum on the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. Was New Zealand swayed by Reefer Madness fearmongering, or comforted that other places have already done this, and the sky did not fall?

"Today we discover if myths or facts won the referendum," says Chris Fowlie, spokesperson for NORML New Zealand Inc.

Polls on the cannabis referendum have been notoriously volatile, with some showing the vote losing, some winning and others too close to call.

"We gave it everything and are feeling quietly confident," says Mr Fowlie. "But with such a close vote we will need compromise and consensus moving forward,"

"Whichever side gets the most votes should recognise almost half the country voted the other way. So I'd expect, if Yes wins, that the Bill would change to reflect the concerns some people had. Likewise if No wins there must still be reforms, just not this Bill in that form."

Special votes will be added next week, on Friday 6 November, and are expected to tip the results in favour of Yes, because they include overseas voters, prisoners, late enrolments and those who moved address. A close loss today could be overturned next week.

In a year dominated by Covid, there is an irony that a century ago while also in the grip of a pandemic New Zealand voted to reject national alcohol prohibition - and the special votes decided the result.

Prohibition had won on the day, but that was overturned by the special votes of soldiers returning from WW1. They didn't fight for freedom just to have their tipple banned by puritanical wowsers. Prohibition was defeated by just 13,000 votes.

Writing on

The Daily Blog

, Chris Fowlie has proposed several ways reform could still occur under a No-majority scenario, and also how reforms may change to reflect concerns raised during the campaign.

"A 'no' vote to that Bill doesn’t also mean no to everything else. It was non-binding, after all!"

Whatever the result today, campaigners and advocates can take heart they have raised the level of discussion and progressed dialogue around drug policy reform, and have shifted hardcore puritans to conceding prohibition does not work.

It's also clear that the work of reformers will continue regardless. Under a Yes scenario we move into lobbying mode, shepherding the draft Bill through parliament. Under a No scenario, we regroup and keep moving forward with other reforms.

New Zealand's oldest cannabis reform group, NORML was a registered Third Party Promoter for the cannabis referendum and ran a strong "Vote Yes" street level campaign featuring eye-catching billboards, leaflets and online advertising.

NORML is holding a cannabis referendum results viewing party today at 2pm today at The Hempstore, 253 Karangahape Road, Auckland. This is open to media, the public and Vote Yes supporters.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We Should Be Betting Quite So Heavily On Astra Zeneca’s Covid Vaccine

According to this week’s Speech from the Throne, maintaining public safety during the pandemic will remain the government’s top priority. Next year will (hopefully) bring the rolling out of a free vaccination against Covid-19 to New Zealander. Currently, there are three possible vaccine contenders but the effectiveness of the vaccine will be only one of the factors determining which vaccine will pre-dominate. On the basis of the cost per dose, and the ease of manufacture, storage and distribution, the Astra Zeneca/Oxford University vaccine will almost certainly be the prime choice for New Zealand, at least initially... More>>


New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels