20 Oct 2017

Cannabis referendum part of Greens' deal

12:38 pm on 20 October 2017

New Zealand will have a referendum on legalising marijuana for personal use as part of the Greens deal with Labour.

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Photo: AFP

An email to party members sets out policies the Greens secured in their confidence and supply agreement.

Drug use will be treated as a health issue and there will be an increase in drug and alcohol treatment funding.

Leader James Shaw said it was time to test public opinion on the question of marijuana for personal use.

"After [the late trade unionist] Helen Kelly's medicinal cannabis campaign and other moves to move towards a more regulated market model in places like Colorado and Hawaii and some of the states in Canada ... it does seem that the public mood has shifted.

"So we thought well maybe it is time to put that to the test," Mr Shaw said.

Ms Kelly, the former Council of Trade Unions leader, was diagnosed with lung cancer and her attempts to manage led to her battle to get medical cannabis legalised.

Mr Shaw said another part of the Greens' deal with Labour is addressing the gender pay gap in the public service.

"It is time that we deal with it, it is 2017 and actually the gap in the public sector is often worse than it is in the private sector."

Mr Shaw said in some government departments men earn up to 20 percent more than women in the same roles.

The email said there would also be "significant climate action, with a shift towards a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050".

An independent climate commission will be established and there would be support for a shift in farming to more sustainable land use.

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