NZ Election 2020: New poll shows recreational cannabis likely to remain a criminal offence

Smoking a joint looks set to remain a criminal offence with the latest Newshub Reid-Research poll showing a majority of voters will vote 'no' in the referendum, but the referendum on euthanasia looks set to pass.

New Zealanders will be asked in the upcoming election whether they support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. 

The proposed Bill outlines a way for the Government to regulate cannabis. Its main purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families, whānau and communities.

The bill intends to restrict young people's access to cannabis, eliminate the illegal supply of cannabis and ensure only New Zealanders aged 20 and over are able to possess or consume the drug in limited circumstances. It would also control the production and supply of cannabis, including controlling the potency and contents of licensed cannabis and cannabis products.

Our Newshub Reid-Research poll asked: "Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?"

  • 50.5 percent said 'no'
  • 37.9 percent said 'yes'
  • 10.9 percent 'didn't know'
  • 0.8 percent won't vote

Support is most likely to come from Green voters (85.5 percent yes), followed by Labour supporters (45.9 percent yes) with National voters likely to be strongly opposed (71.6 percent no). 

A constant bugbear from the 'yes' camp is Labour leader Jacinda Ardern's refusal to declare her position.

While she will share her views on euthanasia - she's voting in favour - discussion about the cannabis debate is firmly off the table.

"All politicians should let the public know where they sit on this issue, it's not the same as going out there and campaigning on it, but it is, I believe, a matter of integrity," Green Party MP and party spokesperson for drug reform Chlöe Swarbrick says.

That's something Judith Collins agrees on.

"She owes a duty to New Zealanders to tell them what her views are," the National leader says.

Newshub Reid-Research also polled on the end of life choice bill - whether those with six months or less to live should be able to choose a medically assisted death.

This week's Newshub Reid Research poll asked: "Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?"

  • 25.5 percent said 'no'
  • 61.6 percent said 'yes'
  • 11.9 percent said 'don't know'

"So many people have seen bad death and they want choice and control for themselves," says ACT leader David Seymour, who's been pushing the Bill.

While it looks like euthanasia will easily pass, our polling shows New Zealanders are not ready to legalise cannabis.

The 'no' vote has grown 2 percent since we polled on this in February. In those results, the vote was:

  • 39.4 percent said 'yes'
  • 47.7 percent said 'no '
  • 11.6 percent said 'don't know'

If it doesn't pass, politicians have indicated it'll be a long time before the option comes up again.