The Cannabis Referendum Coalition is a network of individuals and organisations campaigning for cannabis law reform.
We exist to run a referendum campaign to get a strong YES vote in the upcoming Cannabis Referendum. A strong vote for progressive cannabis law reform will help politicians make better legislation for managing cannabis. Our campaign will run under the banner #makeitlegal
Why do we need law reform? It’s no secret the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 does not stop people using cannabis, but it does stop people getting help for health problems, undermines the relationship between the public and the police, and forces cannabis users to interact with drug dealers who cross-market their products (would you like ‘P’ with that tinnie?”).
All over the world, countries are moving to change their drug laws so that cannabis is dealt with as a health issue, not a crime. Portugal, Canada, Colorado, and California are leading and positive examples of why change is a good thing, with law reform leading to reduced drug use and drug related crime, better healthcare available to people who need it, and fewer people in prison for harmless drug incidents.
Helen Clark – a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy which aims to reform drug policy in order to reduce societal harm – has stated “I believe that drug policy needs to evolve from a substance-based to a people-centred approach. Harm reduction, prevention, and evidence-based treatment have shown their effectiveness around the world. I have witnessed this from New Zealand to Belarus. Now is the time to address the policy barriers to better outcomes.”
While we don’t get to tell the government what we want in a referendum question, we think the government should commit to action the outcome of the referendum. We also want the most progressive question possible – and think this may mean the question needs to have two parts – something like:
- Part 1: Should adults be allowed to possess and grow cannabis?
- Part 2: Should adults be able to buy cannabis in licensed premises?
Funds will be paid to a verified bank account of NORML (an Incorporated Society) on behalf of Cannabis Referendum Coalition.
Campaign funds will be used for activities to promote the upcoming cannabis referendum and the #makeitlegal campaign e.g. publicity, campaigning, marketing, research and polling. If we raise sufficient funds we will be able to employ a campaign manager and other key people. Having dedicated, skilled campaigners will increase our chances of achieving law reform.
Campaign funds will be managed by the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws via a dedicated bank account allocated to the Coalition. NORML has the pre-existing structures and systems to ensure funds are managed legally and ethically.