November 10, 2020
Smoke dreams remain despite no vote
The closing up of the cannabis referendum means the government has no mandate for inaction.
That's the word from Māori Public Health advocacy body Hāpai Te Hauora.
Special votes cut the no vote from 53.1 percent to 50.7 percent.
Hāpai public health general manager Jessihka Leatham Vlasic says that's too close to call – and the government can't ignore the social, mental and financial impact the current legislation has on Māori.
"Some of the work we can do ourselves is getting out there and understanding who voted no and why and that can perhaps inform another piece of legislation more of us are supportive of, but at the very least we need to explore decriminalisation," she says.
Jessihka Leatham Vlasic says many Māori voters found the wording of the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill confusing and feel it did not make clear how there might be positive outcomes for Māori.
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