2020 cannabis referendum would easily pass, poll says

A new poll reveals a large majority of New Zealanders would support legalising recreational cannabis use in the Government's 2020 referendum.

The independent survey of nearly 1000 people, conducted by Horizon Research, surveyed Kiwis on their attitudes towards cannabis, law reform, and its use.

It shows 60 percent of adults would vote to support legalising cannabis for personal use in a referendum, with 24 percent against. Just 16 percent had no opinion.

The survey also reveals that 55 percent of adult New Zealanders have used cannabis at some time during their lives, while 10 percent said they use cannabis daily - or around 340,000 Kiwis.

Party breakdown


Green Party supporters were most in favour, with 84 percent saying they would vote yes. National supporters were least likely to support it, with just 33 percent support.

  • ACT: 49 percent yes/ 26 percent no
  • Green: 84 percent / 14 percent
  • Labour: 63 percent / 17 percent
  • National: 33 percent / 48 percent
  • NZ First: 56 percent / 26 percent

Age breakdown


Surprisingly, more people between 25-34 would vote yes than people aged between 18-24. At the other end of the age scale, more people over 75 would vote yes than people between 65-74.

  • 18 - 24 years: 68 percent agree
  • 25 - 34 years: 75 percent agree
  • 33 - 44 years: 72 percent agree
  • 45 - 54 years: 58 percent agree
  • 55 - 64 years: 58 percent agree
  • 65 - 74 years: 30 percent agree
  • 75yrs or over: 37 percent agree

New Zealand's largest licensed medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, which commissioned the poll, says it will be encouraging for the many New Zealanders who support the liberalisation of recreational cannabis use.

"From this survey, it appears a majority of New Zealanders will vote yes at the 2020 referendum," says executive director Paul Manning.

"It's also encouraging for us to see an overwhelming 81 percent of Kiwis continue to support the legal production of medicines from cannabis.

"This very strong support for medicinal use reflects other poll results we've seen calling for widespread access to cannabis for therapeutic purposes."

The poll had a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. But Family First national director Bob McCoskrie, who opposes the 'yes' vote, says the poll is "simply not robust or reliable".