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Vote yes on our terms

Take Action

If you’re a strong advocate for the Cannabis Control Bill, there are plenty of ways you can join in and help us rally support for the campaign. This can be as simple as having a conversation with friends and family about the real benefits of making cannabis legal or chipping in to help us build momentum for the ‘Yes’ vote.

Here's how you can take action
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Start the conversation

Learn how to have a convincing conversation about the benefits of making cannabis legal.

How to have a convincing conversation about making cannabis legal.

Conversations are a really important campaigning tool – in the Irish abortion referendum, 39% of voters thought discussions with family, friends or workmates were the most influential factor in the final outcome.

No one knows how the cannabis referendum will go yet – the polls show the results will be close. So if you feel strongly that we need to win this referendum, get talking – at your workplace, at the gym, when you’re out with friends, or on your phone via messenger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and wherever else you are active.

Getting started

Know your subject. Unless you’re already an expert, have a good read about the bill and our FAQs on this website. Then pick your moment. Often the best time for a conversation is while doing an activity, like a walk around the park or over a game of golf.

Remember to listen too. It’s much easier to be convincing if you know where someone is coming from. They’ll no doubt have good reasons for whatever they already think about cannabis.

Focus on values

Work out which values are important to you both. For example, most people are keen to see New Zealanders healthier, and to protect young people from damaging themselves. And most people see themselves as compassionate, and don’t like to see people suffer for no reason.

Build on those values to explain your point of view: “Minimising the harm that cannabis can cause is important to me too. And from what I’ve learned, regulating cannabis is the best way to stop some of the worst harms that cannabis can cause…”

Remember that things are rarely black and white. You might share similar values – for example that we need to protect young people – but disagree on the solution. But you can talk through law reform options that address their concerns.

Keep it light

Keep calm and polite – always. If you end up red-faced, chances are that you won’t be having the convincing effect you were going for! So explore ideas together rather than telling people what they should think.

Remember – it’s okay to not agree on everything. You’re mostly trying to get across that health-focused cannabis regulations can help reduce harm and protect people.

Choosing arguments that are convincing

Every conversation will be a bit different. But based on our research, these are the messages that are most relevant to the voters who might swing either way at the referendum.

  • Promoting health, with people able to access help if they need it, and taxes going to drug harm prevention and treatment
  • Wanting laws based on compassion, where those who use cannabis medicinally have more affordable access to a wider range of products
  • Wanting to live in safe communities where police can focus on serious crime
  • Reducing the number of pointless convictions to protect our most vulnerable
  • Putting controls around cannabis, to ensure products are safe.

Convincing

Get more detailed information on using conversations to win the cannabis referendum with our conversation pack.

Conversation kit download (0.5MB)

Learn more
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Learn why we're voting yes on our terms

Kaya DSC Flat
"We have the chance to take control of cannabis. Like it remaining absolutely illegal to anyone under the age of 20 - which is really important to me and my family. "
Kaya , Retired mental health professional, Grandmother
Tim M Flat
"As an former drug squad detective, the key thing for me about this Cannabis Control Bill, is that this will give our police more time and energy to focus on serious crimes. "
Tim , Former Detective, Advocate
Hinemoa flat
"The Cannabis Control Referendum is our opportunity to enforce safer potency levels. Which means those who need access to it, will know exactly what they’re getting - no surprises. "
Hinemoa , Psychiatrist, Mum
Richie Flat
"One thing in the bill I feel strongly about is keeping cannabis illegal to kids, teenagers and anyone under 20. "
Ritchie , Educator, Activist
Khylee Flat
"Rather than penalising people over cannabis, I believe we should helping them. Which is why I’m voting ‘YES’ at the Cannabis Control Referendum. "
Khylee , Associate Professor, Mum
MM flat
"If someone you knew was suffering and needed medicinal cannabis treatment, then they should be able to access it...without it costing them everything they’ve got. "
Melanie and Malcolm , Ecostore Founders, Grandparents
Surej Flat
"Voting ‘YES’ in the Referendum will see us take control over the market, from seed to sale, and everything in between. With taxes collected coming back to support health and education for all Kiwis. "
Surej , Economics Graduate
Karl Flat
"If someone close to me ever needed cannabis for medical reasons, then I wouldn’t want access to be an issue. Or huge price tags. Or any added stress to what would already be a tough situation. "
Karl , Company Director
"Parents already have enough to worry about what their kids up to. That’s why I’m voting ‘YES’ at the Cannabis Control referendum."
Anna , Social Entrepreneur, Mum
Anna R ag flat
"We finally have the chance to take control of cannabis. Controlling where it comes from, and restricting sales to only officially licensed businesses."
Anna , Consultant, Writer
Tim B Flat
"By voting ‘YES’ I’ll be supporting plain packaging and clear warning labels."
Tim , Comedian, Small Business Owner
FAQ
Have the answers to common questions

The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill restricts cannabis sales and use to adults over 20-years old. This sends a very clear message that cannabis is for adults only.

Another way we can send that clear message to young people is through better drug education in schools, which will have extra funding from the new tax on cannabis.

The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has very tough punishments for those who sell or supply cannabis to young people.

Only specialist stores licensed by the government will be able to sell cannabis.

We don’t yet know how much legal cannabis will cost, but we do know that one of the purposes of the Bill is to ensure that the retail price of cannabis reflects a “balance between the harm reduction objectives that seek to lower the overall use of cannabis… at the same time, drawing people away from the illicit cannabis market”.

Cannabis use will be allowed in private homes and specifically licensed premises. People won’t be allowed to use cannabis in public spaces.

Yes, limits on potency will be set within the regulations. The Cannabis Regulatory Authority will be responsible for setting those limits for different classes of cannabis product. To do that, they’ll consult with a wide range of stakeholders including Māori and young people. They’ll look at current potency levels in NZ and consider how they can reduce problematic use, and prevent over-consumption, while reducing the size of the illicit market. The Government has suggested an initial maximum potency of 15% THC for cannabis flower and 5 mg of THC per package for edibles. This is a good starting point for further discussion.

There will also be a progressive excise tax for cannabis producers to pay on fresh cannabis, based on weight and potency (the higher the THC level, the higher the price). This will encourage users to consume lower potency products. This is good because high potency products can be risky to vulnerable groups such as those who use heavily, and young people

No advertising for cannabis products will be allowed, and consumer and health warnings will be required.

The legal cannabis market will be regulated by the Cannabis Regulatory Authority. The Agency will be responsible for things including:
– the licensing system for growers and sellers of cannabis
– setting limits on THC and CBD
– monitoring compliance of license holders to ensure legal cannabis products are high quality and accurately labelled
– public education campaigns about the harms of cannabis

People will be able to apply for a licence to either grow or sell cannabis. People won’t be able to hold licences for both at the same time, meaning no single company will have control over the entire market.

There will be a cap on the total amount of cannabis that can be cultivated, with a quota set aside for production by small scale producers. No company will be allowed to produce more than 20% of the entire legal market.

When approving cultivation and retail licences, the Cannabis Authority is required to give more weight to applications that benefit communities affected by prohibition. This includes partnerships and jobs for those disproportionately affected by prohibition, including Māori and those who are economically deprived.

Decriminalisation of cannabis would mean people wouldn’t be criminalised for their cannabis use, but the black market would still control supply. Legalisation means the Government takes control over the cannabis market, from seed to sale. This means we can implement regulations that limit access to adults only and make cannabis safer. That’s not possible unless we legalise.

Other than in licensed consumption spaces, it will only be legal to consume at home – not on the street, or in parks.

We won’t be seeing Amsterdam-style cafes here. We will have consumption spaces, but in most venues, cannabis will be BYO. Smoke-free laws will apply. The spaces will be focused on providing a safe space to use so that people do not use cannabis in public. They’ll have strict opening hours, and will be hard to spot from the street so that they don’t attract new customers, particularly young people.

The penalties for breaching the law will (mostly) be low. These low penalties are mostly fines – possessing more than 14g is a $200 fine, and there’s a $500 fine if you grow more than four, but fewer than ten, plants per household. Fines for selling to people under 20 are much higher – they could see someone go to prison for up to four years.

This is inconsistent with how we punish people selling tobacco and alcohol to young people (a $5000 fine for tobacco and $2000 for alcohol). But we expect the public will be pleased to see that the Government is taking the issue of underage purchase very seriously.

The range of cannabis products available, including edibles, will be heavily restricted.

The vast range of products found in the US like cannabis gummies and lollipops will not be permitted. Following the introduction of a legal cannabis regime, cannabis plants and seeds would be immediately approved for sale. Then it would be up to the Cannabis Authority to approve other products. Products that appeal to children and cannabis infused drinks will not be allowed. Edible cannabis products will need to be baked and sold at room temperature.

The intention is that new products not currently available in New Zealand won’t be allowed under the new regime. This will allow the Authority to slowly introduce new products if there is evidence their introduction won’t increase cannabis related harm.

A progressive excise tax will be imposed based on cannabis weight and potency (the higher the THC level, the higher the price). This will encourage users to consume lower potency products. A levy, like that applied to alcohol and gambling, will fund services to reduce cannabis harm. These price controls will help lower the overall use of cannabis while also drawing people away from the illicit cannabis market.

We don’t yet know exactly how much legal cannabis will cost, but the draft Bill asserts that the retail price of cannabis needs to balance reducing cannabis use with drawing people away from the illicit market.

The prices will be carefully reviewed and regulated so they are at “market rate” and we don’t inadvertently drive people underground.

The cannabis industry will be equitable for all New Zealanders and you will be able to apply for a job within it as you would with any other industry.

MM flat
Talk to your friends, whanau and neighbours about why to vote yes
Learn how to have a convincing conversation about the benefits of making cannabis legal.
MM flat

How to have a convincing conversation about making cannabis legal.

Conversations are a really important campaigning tool – in the Irish abortion referendum, 39% of voters thought discussions with family, friends or workmates were the most influential factor in the final outcome.

No one knows how the cannabis referendum will go yet – the polls show the results will be close. So if you feel strongly that we need to win this referendum, get talking – at your workplace, at the gym, when you’re out with friends, or on your phone via messenger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and wherever else you are active.

Getting started

Know your subject. Unless you’re already an expert, have a good read about the bill and our FAQs on this website. Then pick your moment. Often the best time for a conversation is while doing an activity, like a walk around the park or over a game of golf.

Remember to listen too. It’s much easier to be convincing if you know where someone is coming from. They’ll no doubt have good reasons for whatever they already think about cannabis.

Focus on values

Work out which values are important to you both. For example, most people are keen to see New Zealanders healthier, and to protect young people from damaging themselves. And most people see themselves as compassionate, and don’t like to see people suffer for no reason.

Build on those values to explain your point of view: “Minimising the harm that cannabis can cause is important to me too. And from what I’ve learned, regulating cannabis is the best way to stop some of the worst harms that cannabis can cause…”

Remember that things are rarely black and white. You might share similar values – for example that we need to protect young people – but disagree on the solution. But you can talk through law reform options that address their concerns.

Keep it light

Keep calm and polite – always. If you end up red-faced, chances are that you won’t be having the convincing effect you were going for! So explore ideas together rather than telling people what they should think.

Remember – it’s okay to not agree on everything. You’re mostly trying to get across that health-focused cannabis regulations can help reduce harm and protect people.

Choosing arguments that are convincing

Every conversation will be a bit different. But based on our research, these are the messages that are most relevant to the voters who might swing either way at the referendum.

  • Promoting health, with people able to access help if they need it, and taxes going to drug harm prevention and treatment
  • Wanting laws based on compassion, where those who use cannabis medicinally have more affordable access to a wider range of products
  • Wanting to live in safe communities where police can focus on serious crime
  • Reducing the number of pointless convictions to protect our most vulnerable
  • Putting controls around cannabis, to ensure products are safe.

Convincing

Get more detailed information on using conversations to win the cannabis referendum with our conversation pack.

Conversation kit download (0.5MB)

Read More

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