"It's time we all grew up and realised, let's put this to the people - we elected them, they're called MPs."
The wisdom of pushing a law change aside is questionable, political scientist Jack Vowles writes.
"Obviously a 'yes' vote would have had some impact on the industry."
Voters in areas where support was high were far more likely to back their local Labour candidate than National, data shows.
The newly counted votes aren't enough to nudge the 'yes' vote over the 50 percent threshold.
The final results of the referendum will be released at 2pm on Friday.
"If she really wanted it to be legalised - she should have been brave enough to put her hand up."
The yes campaign should be more gracious in defeat writes Mark Longley
Ardern's secrecy was at odds with the Greens' outspoken advocacy to legalise cannabis.