The Cannabis Referendum

At the 17 October election, people will need to vote on two referendum questions, as well as voting for a new government.

The first referendum question will be about euthanasia, and the second question will be about cannabis.

In this article, we will focus on the cannabis question.

The referendum question is:

“Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?”

The possible answers will be “yes” and “no”.

The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill is a proposed law that will allow adults to buy and grow small amounts of cannabis for their own use. It will also regulate businesses that grow and sell cannabis.

Cannabis is already legal for medical use, so the referendum is only about recreational use.

People hope that by legalising cannabis, it will stop black market trade. If more than 50% of people vote “yes” the government will start to design a law to make cannabis legal, but it could take a while. If people vote “no”, then cannabis would stay illegal unless it is for medical use.


bill: a proposed law

allow: let

regulate: control by a system of rules

legalise: make legal; let people do something without punishment

recreational use: using for fun or pleasure

medical use/medicinal use: using for health benefits black market: illegal sales. The black market is a problem because it is often controlled by criminals.