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New Poll Results Have New Zealand Cannabis Legalization Measure Losing On Election Day

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Voters in New Zealand will get the chance to vote on a cannabis legalization measure on Election Day. New Zealand’s election will be held on September 19, 2020. So far only two countries have legalized cannabis for adult use – Canada and Uruguay. Court decisions in Mexico and Italy have established case law for legalization, however, measures have yet to be implemented on the public policy side of the equation.

It is the hope of cannabis advocates everywhere that New Zealand’s legalization measure passes. Unfortunately for the cannabis reform movement in New Zealand and elsewhere, a recent poll shows that support for the measure is currently well under the required majority threshold for it to win. Per 1 News:

New Zealanders are more likely to vote against legalisation of cannabis in the upcoming referendum, according to the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll.

Those polled were asked, ‘At this stage, do you think you will vote for cannabis to be legalised, or for cannabis to remain illegal?’

Remain illegal – 51%
Legalise cannabis – 39%
Will not vote – 1%
Don’t know / refused – 9%

The poll found that the most opposition was found among people that self-reported as being ‘Asian New Zealanders, National Party supports and people aged 55 and over.’ Younger people were more likely to support the legalization measure. Below are some of the provisions of the referendum that New Zealand voters will see on Election Day:

  • A minimum purchase and used age of 20;
  • Ban on all marketing and advertising of cannabis products;
  • Requires harm minimization messaging in the retailing of cannabis;
  • Prohibits consumption in public places and limits use to private homes and specifically license premises;
  • Limits sale of cannabis to specifically licensed physical stores (not online or remote sales);
  • Strict controls and regulations on the potency of cannabis;
  • Establishes a state licensing regime that all stages of the growing and supply chain are licensed and controlled by the Government, and will limit the amount of cannabis that is allowed to be grown.

There’s a lot of time between now and Election Day, so hopefully the numbers will trend upwards as the vote approaches. It’s also quite possible that the poll results are misleading due to a phenomenon in which people don’t want to admit that they support legalization out of fear, yet ultimately plan on voting for legalization when given the chance to do so in private.

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