The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has admitted it did not consult its members before saying it opposed cannabis legalisation in the upcoming referendum. 

Senior figures at the NZMA have since asked if members could be sent a rapid survey to clarify what the NZMA position should be.

They are concerned the association is not representing the views of its members, and may need to clarify its position.

Association chair Dr Kate Baddock said she has not received that request, and it is too late anyway.

She said the NZMA position is clear.

“Our position on cannabis has been around the harms of cannabis. It’s been there since 2012. It’s been reiterated a few times over that time, and this is a board and organisational position – it’s got nothing to do with me personally,” said Baddock.

Some doctors have said the NZMA view is outdated, given it is based on advice first presented in 2012.

The NZMA may be disappointed by the outcome of the referendum as the latest poll figures are leaning towards a ‘yes’ vote.

Of the 1129 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over who were asked “Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?”, 49% said ‘yes’, 45% said ‘no’, 4% said they ‘didn’t know’ and 2% won’t vote.

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