A public referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use will be held by the 2020 election as part of the agreement between the Green and Labour parties.

Legalising cannabis has been a key policy for the Green Party for the past 20 years.

But what changes will Kiwis be voting on when it comes to the cannabis referendum?

Legalise cannabis for personal use:
According to The Green Party, its drug law reform policy indicates that it aims to make cannabis legal for personal use, including possession and cultivation of the drug.


However, it is unclear whether selling cannabis would be legalised.

Age restriction on cannabis use:
The Greens have made it clear there a legal age limit for personal use of cannabis will need to be introduced, although the age is yet to be set or agreed upon.

Driving under the influence of cannabis:
The current law around driving under the influence of cannabis will be replaced with one that is based on cannabinoid levels that correlates with impairment.

Similar to alcohol breath testing, drivers cannot get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if they are over the legalised limit of cannabinoid levels.

If Kiwis vote to legalise cannabis, here is what could be in store. Photo / Getty
If Kiwis vote to legalise cannabis, here is what could be in store. Photo / Getty

Legalising medical cannabis

The Greens want to remove penalties for anyone with a terminal illness, chronic or debilitating conditions who grows, possesses and uses cannabis products for therapeutic purposes as long as they have the support of authorised medical practitioner.

Make licensed medical cannabis products more accessible:
The proposed policy would look to accelerate the process by which medical cannabis products are licensed. The move would direct MedSafe to consider the use of category-based classes common compositions of medical cannabis products.

They want to lower the barriers for manufacturers to submit new cannabis products for funding to Pharmac so that evidence can be quickly gathered and distributed if approved.


Before racing ahead with the referendum, they want to assess evidence from overseas jurisdictions where legal cannabis is sold to determine the best model for New Zealand.

"While waiting for broader law change for cannabis, remove penalties for any person with a terminal illness, chronic or debilitating condition to cultivate, possess or use cannabis and/or cannabis products for therapeutic purposes, with the support of a registered medical practitioner", the policy said.

Other policy gains outlined in the email to delegates included "free counselling for under-25s and access to mental health services and support for everyone" - and also "significant climate action", an "overhaul of the welfare system" and increased alcohol and drug services.

Canada legalises cannabis:

Medical cannabis is already legal in Canada, but the Canadian government is setting strict guidelines.

Dried and fresh cannabis, as well as cannabis oil, will be initially available with edible products to follow.

in Canada strict guidelines will be set on how cannabis can be marketed. The government is currently weighing whether producers should be required to use plain packaging, with endorsements banned and child-proof packaging required. Any marketing that could appeal to young people will be prohibited, as will be selling the product through self-service display cases or vending machines.

Those who want to grow their own cannabis will be limited to four plants per household.

Canadians will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use while those who sell or give marijuana to minors or who drive under its influence will face stiff penalties.