Kiwis could grow cannabis, buy from licensed retailers if it's legalised after referendum

New Zealanders may soon be able to grow marijuana legally in their own backyard or buy cannabis from a licensed retailer, after the Government revealed what the country will be voting on in the 2020 cannabis referendum.

It is proposing the legal age to buy cannabis would be 20, it could only be bought from a licensed store and would have to be consumed on private properties such as the home or on a licensed premise. 

Justice Minister Andrew Little confirmed that the referendum will be based on proposed legislation so that people will be able to see what they are voting for. The legislation will not be passed when the public votes, instead it will be passed after the election.

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If legalisation is passed, only those who are 20 years or older can legally use cannabis products. Source: 1 NEWS

The proposal would allow it to be grown at homes and private cultivation would be regulated, but the number of plants Kiwis would be able to grow would be unclear.

"It's a bit like homebrew," Andrew Little said. "We have a sale and supply of alcohol act but people can brew their own and do whatever they want at home."

Mr Little said the age limit was set at 20 to try to push back the age where New Zealanders first try cannabis. 

"If you put too high an age on it you just encourage a black market, and one of the objectives of legalisation would be to get rid of the criminal elements."

Green Party's Chlöe Swarbrick described it as a "health based approach" that does not seek to increase accessibility of cannabis. 

However some MPs had their concerns, such as National MP Nikki Kaye who first tried cannabis at 14. 

"I believe in medicinal cannabis but I have major concerns about this referendum," she said. 

National also wanted more detail, with leader Simon Bridges asking for the tax rate, if gangs would sell drugs legally, and if edible gummy bears would be legal. 

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Kiwis may soon be able to grow the plant legally in their own backyards. Source: 1 NEWS