New Zealand is making big changes. After many years of rule under a conservative government, the Labour Party will be taking the reigns under new President Jacinda Ardern. One of the things that is coming is a vote on marijuana legalization. While it is many years away, the Labor party has support from the New Zealand First Party as well as the Green Party.
The country will take three years to debate the issue and to determine if legalization is the way to go for New Zealanders. While the move itself is progress, the referendum is scheduled to last for three years. Three years is a long time for an industry and a culture that is spreading as fast as it is for a changing country like New Zealand to miss the opportunity. Arden herself seems split on the issue stating, “I’ve always been very open about the fact that I do not believe that people should be imprisoned for personal use of cannabis. On the flip side, I also have concerns around young people accessing a product which can clearly do harm and damage to them.”
While Ardern hasn’t taken a firm stance on marijuana legalization as of yet, the rest of the world is moving forward with or without New Zealand. The indecision put forth by the new government and the three-year length of the referendum seems more like a political ploy than a genuine interest in coming to a consensus. All of the information on marijuana that a government could ever need to make an educated decision is already out there. Further debate on the issue does nothing but delay the inevitable, as New Zealand will one day discover.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.