Government Should Respect Cannabis Referendum Result – Poll

By December 30, 2020 Recent News

Media Release 30 December 2020
Polling by Curia Market Research has found that only 1 in 4 New Zealanders want the government to ignore the results of the cannabis referendum despite the close result, and that even half of the YES voters believe that the result should count.

In the poll of 1,000 New Zealanders surveyed this month, respondents were asked “Should the government respect the result of the cannabis referendum and not legalise cannabis for recreational use, even though it was a close result?” 

Just 26% said the result should be ignored, while 66% disagreed (8% unsure). A strong majority of Labour, National and ACT voters said the result should be binding, contrary to a majority of Green voters.

Respondents were also asked how they voted in the referendum. While 94% of NO voters obviously wanted the result respected, YES voters were also marginally more supportive than not of the result being binding – 47% to 44%.

“Despite court cases and petitions since the results were announced, it is clear that New Zealanders want the referendum to be binding and respected – as Helen Clark originally demanded. Fortunately – and to their credit – both Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little are willing to honour the result. It’s also pretty clear from the latest data coming out of both the USA and Canadian that we dodged a health and social harm bullet when the majority of kiwi voters voted no. New Zealand is too precious to be wasted,” says Bob McCoskrie of Family First.

Recent U.S. state-level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most authoritative study on drug use conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), has found significant increases in youth cannabis use in several recently legalised marijuana states versus last year. At the same time, mental illness indicators worsened across the country while alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco use dropped, especially among young people.

The latest data from Health Canada’s Canadian Cannabis Survey reveals that there has been three years of consecutive increases in use since legalisation, and that almost 1 in 3 Canadian males over 16 consumed cannabis in the past 12 months, and 1 in 4 females. In 2020, 27% of Canadians reported having used cannabis in the past 12 months, an increase from 25% (2019) and 22% (2018). This is growing to almost double the rate in New Zealand, with past year use at just 15% in NZ compared to Canada’s 27% under legalisation.

The nationwide poll was carried out during December and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.