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]’.

(cont..)

(ed:..i’d stick my hand up as one of those volunteers..

but the main problem i see is people being unwilling to put their name to such a referendum…not wanting to ‘out’ themselves in some way..

..and i can also heed the arguments that this will be a large amount of effort..and will take a long time ……and as it would be non-binding…for what..?.

..and a referendum could even be welcomed by the powers-that-be as another excuse to do nothing for the forseeable future..’we’re waiting for the referendum-result’…..

..so taking all of that into account – i would counsel against a referendum..and would instead urge that all possible pressure be put on political parties/politicians between now and the next election to ensure that when the government changes – the law will change..

..i feel this focus on the actual people who will make that change would be much better use of that reformist energy..)