Cannabis campaigners in New Zealand have received a boost after the latest opinion poll showed support for legalisation running at 56 per cent, up two per cent on February polling.

New Zealanders go to the polls on September 19 to vote in a general election, as well as in referendums on legalising recreational cannabis use and voluntary euthanasia.

The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill would allow people aged 20 and over to possess and consume cannabis in limited circumstances. It does not cover medicinal cannabis and hemp, which are covered by existing laws.

“Prohibitionists are finding it harder and harder to justify leaving control of cannabis in the hands of a criminal underworld.”

make it legal campaign spokesperson

The Horizon Research survey of nearly 1600 Kiwis showed a majority in favour of legalisation in all age groups apart from those aged 65 and over. Support among women was 59 per cent compared to 52 per cent of men.

A spokesperson for the Make It Legal campaign said: “The more people know about what the bill actually does, the more they tend to support it. It’s common sense that introducing an R20 age limit will reduce underage use, while recognising that most people who enjoy cannabis do so without any problems.”

“Prohibitionists are finding it harder and harder to justify leaving control of cannabis in the hands of a criminal underworld. It increases underage use, puts people at risk and floods of untaxed money through the illegal market.

“Regulating the market protects us all.”