Research NZ November 2013
The poll questions:
The two questions were as follows:
Currently, possession of even a small amount of cannabis is against the law. If cannabis possession was decriminalised, people caught with a small amount of cannabis would not receive a criminal conviction. Do you support decriminalisation of the possession of a small amount of cannabis, or do you feel the law should stay as it is?
Currently, young people in possession of cannabis at school may be suspended or expelled. Do you agree or disagree that it would be better to provide them with health education and support?
The key results for the first question are as follows:
One-third of respondents (33 percent) were in favour of decriminalisation of the possession of small amounts of cannabis; 58 percent were not in favour and nine percent did not know.
There were few differences by the sub-groups of respondents; meaning that this result was the common view regardless of the demographic characteristics of respondents.
The key results for the second question were as follows:
In total, 74 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that it would be better if young people in possession of small amounts of cannabis at school were offered health education and support, rather than be suspended or expelled. Some 39 percent strongly agreed and 35 percent agreed with this suggestion.
In comparison, 15 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed with this suggestion (8 percent disagreed and 7 percent strongly disagreed).
“From these results it is clear that a majority of New Zealanders feel that possession of small amounts of cannabis should remain a criminal offence, but as far as the possession of small amounts by young people at school are concerned, the preferred course of action is to give them health education and support rather than punishment”, said Research New Zealand Director, Emanuel Kalafatelis.