Why a Pot Smoker’s Paradise May Say No to Legal Weed

Some 80% of its population has used it, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, even though it’s against the law. But New Zealand might say no to legalizing recreational cannabis in the general election on Oct. 17. Two major opinion polls show support waning for a non-binding referendum to end the prohibition. Why would a country where “weed” is widely used turn down the opportunity to acknowledge its ubiquity and reject laws turning users into criminals? In public discussions and debates, the focus seems to be on the next generation.

1. What’s the proposal?

From the age of 20, a person would be allowed to buy as much as 14 grams (about half an ounce) of dried cannabis a day from licensed outlets, and to grow two plants at home (with a limit of four plants per household). There would be shops selling pot of different varieties and strengths, and eventually other products such as edibles, though not gummy bears or anything resembling children’s sweets. Smoking or vaping in public areas or buildings would be prohibited, except in specially licensed cafes. Advertising of cannabis products would be banned. Medicinal cannabis, which requires a doctor’s prescription, has already been legalized in New Zealand.

2. And the arguments?

Advocates say the change would reduce harm from cannabis by eliminating illegal supply from gangs, regulating its quality and safety and blocking access to those under 20. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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