In a few days, New Zealand will have a decision on Adult Use cannabis. Kiwis voted on the adult-use cannabis referendum on October 17th. It’s a measure which will allow adults in the country, those age 21 and older, to buy up to fourteen (14) grams of cannabis a day from licensed retailers.
The vote comes months after New Zealand installed a medical cannabis program. The medical program began in April of this year. And from the looks of it the program is running so smoothly the country is ready to take a closer look into the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
The October 17th referendum vote on adult use will be a yes or no vote on adult use cannabis. Even if the yes votes outnumber the no’s, Kiwis will not see legal adult-use cannabis right away.
The vote is not binding and will not immediately change the laws relating to cannabis. Future action by the government is necessary to approve adult use cannabis legislation and put it into action.
But from the looks of things New Zealand cannabis enthusiasts do not seem to be headed for disappointment. The country has a history of adopting changes for the better.
A Country of Firsts
In 1893, more than 125 years ago, New Zealand became the first country to allow women to vote. A decade and three years ahead of Finland, the second country to grant women the right. And a full quarter of a century ahead of Germany. The U.S. didn’t grant women this right until 1920, 27 years after New Zealand.
New Zealand has other significant firsts of which it can be very proud. The country lays claim to firsts both big and small.
New Zealand is the land of the first sun. It’s location and the curvature of the earth makes New Zealand the first country to say hello to the sun every day. In 2011 Samoa, part of New Zealand, made the decision to leap 24 hours on the international time line.
Before this decision, Samoa was the last place to watch the sun go down below the horizon. Now, the East Cape of New Zealand is the first place to see the sunrise on New Year’s day.
The First to Summit
Another inspiring first coming out of Auckland, New Zealand is the story of mountain climber hero Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world.
There is some speculation that George Mallory was the first to summit the mountain in 1923. But the official facts are unknown as Mallory never made it back to base camp to tell about it.
Thirty-three years after Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary made his homeland of New Zealand proud. In 1956 Hillary and Norgay became the first men to officially summit Everest.
The Atomic Nucleus
Small things do matter as much as the lofty peaks. In 1909, the New Zealand born Ernest Rutherford discovered the contents under the microscope lens of his student were. . . “unexpected.” Further inspection led Rutherford to the discovery of the atomic nucleus. No small matter.
The point being we can expect great things from New Zealand. Whether adult-use cannabis will be one of them – only time will tell. But the outcome of the vote on October 17th will give us some insight into what we can expect of New Zealand’s cannabis industry in the years to come.