Week in politics: Cannabis legalisation – the devil will be in the detail

Canada LegalNews USAWeek in politics: Cannabis legalisation – the devil will be in the detail

The government’s announcement this week that the referendum on legalising cannabis will involve a simple yes or no answer on a draft bill raised questions about whether the result really will be binding.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says it is binding, because all the parties in the coalition have agreed to pass the legislation if the answer is “yes”.

A headline in the Dominion Post said “Cannabis poll won’t be binding” and made the point that a government made up of different parties could refuse to pass it or change it.

Mr Little’s stance depends on the government being re-elected, which may be a very safe bet but isn’t a certainty.

He says National should make the same commitment, so that should the government change the referendum result will be honoured.

National won’t commit itself to anything before it sees the draft bill, which is a fair position to take. If it wants to keep its options open it might not commit to passing it after it has seen the proposed legislation, or say it will only pass it with significant amendments.

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Comments (1)

  1. Remember the “referendum” on the “anti-smacking” Bill?
    97% said “leave our kids alone”.
    Labour government said “we know better than you stupid people, we will merely take this as an indication of public opinion, which we will, of course, ignore, since we are far better than you peasants.
    At that time people actually thought that they would “have a say” and that that “say” would be adhered to. The joke was on the people. You gonna fall for this again?

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