Support for legalising cannabis burning out - survey


A survey ahead of October's referendum on legalising recreational cannabis shows a big surge in opposition to a law change, with 46 percent now against legalising the drug.

In March, a Research New Zealand poll found 43 percent were in favour of legalising cannabis, and 33 percent opposed it.

But Research NZ partner Emanuel Kalafatelis said that has now been turned around and this month support for the law change has slid to 39 percent, while it is now 46 percent of people who are against legalising recreational cannabis.

"A really big change and most of the people who have now moved into the 'not-in-favour' camp have come from the group who were sitting on the fence."

Kalafatelis said support for the End of Life Choice bill has also slipped, but only slightly.

"Back in December 2019 when we were using the same poll with the same question, we had 70 percent supporting the proposed legislation, this has slid a little bit down to currently 62 percent and 24 percent not in support of the legislation and 9 [percent] sitting on the fence."

But he said there is a large gap between those who support the legislation and those who do not and something big would have to happen for the results to change significantly prior to the election.

Kalafatelis said this was going to be Research New Zealand's last poll on the two issues, but with the election date being changed to 17 October, the organisation may conduct one more poll.