Pubdate: Tue, 28 Jun 2016
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2016 New Zealand Herald
Author: Tess Nichol


Cannabis decriminalisation could happen through a citizen-initiated 
referendum, says reform advocate Helen Kelly.

At a public meeting at Auckland's Town Hall last night on the effects 
of cannabis law, Ms Kelly said she hoped a referendum could be pushed 
through by a dedicated team of volunteers.

About 60 people were at the launch of the "Let's Start The 
Conversation" campaign, which also featured AUT professor and 
cannabis legalisation advocate Max Abbott, and Warren Young of the 
New Zealand Law Commission.

Ms Kelly, who has lung cancer, maintains cannabis is the best drug 
available to help ease her pain.

"I think we could pull it off if we had the team to do the work," the 
former trade unionist said of a referendum.

"It's my view we need 500 volunteers getting 800 signatures each 
[from members of the public]."

While she conceded that was a big job, Ms Kelly said she believed the 
public support for change was out there and she felt optimistic about 
the possibility for legalisation.

Dr Abbott said 75 per cent of Kiwi adults were in favour of 
legalising marijuana for medical use.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom