What I'm taking from the couple of posts above is that the public are being asked to vote in a referendum without being fully informed what the consequences could or will be. That's a fundamental flaw I feel (although I don't know what the better alternative would be). Some similarities to the Brexit vote in the UK here perhaps??
I don't see the problem here. When a law change is proposed, people have a voice through the submissions process. That will also be the case with this. The referendum is an extra layer that doesn't normally happen. People aren't being asked to vote on anything except whether the law change should be considered.
Yes I agree with Rikkitic, generally the public don't get a vote/referendum on whether laws should be changed. The government usually only kicks off the process to change laws based on reviews that have been commissioned (or from a public petiton with tonnes of votes or some other bad news media story), the public don't get involved until the select committee stage. If it does get to that stage (i.e. the yes votes win) I think that's the appropriate forum to air out all your concerns and possibly get the answers you need on how the legislation attempts to reduce the harm/risk. Of course, as alluded to earlier, I don't think everyone will be 100% happy with the law (if it does get through). But there will be opportunities to tweak it if there are any issues..
But it does beg the question, whose responsibility is it to be informed here? The public or the govt? I think the govt are trying to stay somewhat neutral here, they probably shouldn't be seen to sway public opinion in such matters. I'm sure if you dig deep enough, you'll be to find all the info you need to make your decision.