Kiwis may have voted down moves to legalise recreational cannabis use last year, but the issue is far from dead, according to a new poll released by the Helen Clark Foundation.
The poll found 69% of those surveyed are in favour of either legalisation or decriminalisation. In the referendum, 51.7% voted against the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, with 48.4% in favour.
The poll also found legalisation or decriminalisation is favoured by a majority, regardless of political persuasion, with 52% of National Party supporters, 51% of ACT supporters, 81% of Labour supporters and 93% of Greens voters supporting one or the other versus the status quo.
Greens MP Chlöe Swarbrick told 1 News Breakfast the poll shows New Zealanders favour of reform on the country’s current drug laws.
“What we also know is that the referendum was on a very narrow, very niche proposed piece of legislation and we know that that failed on a very slim margin,” she said.
“By no means does that mean that this conversation goes into a box and into the never never. It means that it needs to continue moving forward.
“More New Zealanders voted in favour of cannabis regulation than voted for the National Party and we’re not no longer hearing from them. In fact, what this demonstrates for us is that we need to continue moving forward the conversation that is sensibly informed about how we reduce drug harm in this country.”