Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Support for cannabis law reform remains high

Support for cannabis law reform remains high

Public support for cannabis law reform is as strong as ever, a new poll conducted for the NZ Drug Foundation shows. The Drug Foundation is urging political parties to make firm commitments to health-focused drug law during this election campaign.

Almost two thirds of those surveyed want cannabis to be either legalised (28%) or decriminalised (37%). This split matches the numbers from a survey one year ago when 64% were in favour of change.

“New Zealanders continue to show strong support for a change to cannabis law, and for good reason,” says Executive Director Ross Bell.

“The current system is broken. Getting a criminal conviction for possessing cannabis ruins peoples’ lives and creates huge downstream costs for society.”

“A regulated approach will usher in controls on quality, price and availability of cannabis, along with more education, prevention and treatment. The public get this – why don’t our political leaders?”

Poll results show 60 percent of National voters support legal or decriminalised possession for personal use (up from 52% a year ago). NZ First voters sit at 68 percent compared with 62 percent a year ago. Green Party voters are again the strongest supporters of change, with 92 percent for decriminalisation or legalisation (up from 83 percent in July 2016). Support for medical cannabis remains very high, at around 80 percent.

“Once again we see the cross party nature of support for change. Both National and NZ First voters are more strongly in favour of reform than last year,” Mr Bell says.

“People who vote Labour are most frequently in the unsure camp. For instance, 12 percent are unsure about allowing legal sales from stores. It’s a sign this group of voters is looking for leadership from the party they support.”

Even when it comes to the controversial idea of allowing sales of cannabis in stores, there is an across the board increase in the percentages being comfortable with sales between friends and from retail outlets. In 2016, 64 percent wanted this to be illegal whilst this year 58 percent do.

“This entrenched and strong level of support for reform now puts the heat on political parties to make firm commitments about where they stand on this. Many of the smaller parties have already outlined their manifestos, but the two big parties either stubbornly cling to the failed status quo or make wishy-washy platitudes. We deserve better than that,” Mr Bell says.

“Our political leaders need to keep an open mind and learn from the successes of other countries who have pursued health-focused reform. It’s also time for the big parties to be clear to voters about their policies and commitments for drug law reform for the next term of Parliament,” said Mr Bell.
Poll details
Here are the statements that were put to callers:
"I'm going to read out a range of activities relating to cannabis. For each activity can you please tell me whether you think that activity should be legal, or illegal and subject to criminal penalties or illegal but decriminalised which means it is an offence punishable only by a fine, like a speeding ticket and there is no criminal record. So the three choices are legal, illegal or decriminalised.
• Possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
• Growing a small amount of cannabis for personal use
• Growing a small amount of cannabis for giving or selling to your friends
• Growing and/or using cannabis for any medical reasons such as to alleviate pain
• Growing and/or using cannabis for medical reasons if you have a terminal illness
• Selling cannabis from a store.
Illegal Decriminalised Legal 2017 Net Decrim+Legal 2016 Net Decrim+Legal Change
Personal possession 31% 37% 28% 65% 64% +1%
Personal growing 41% 32% 23% 55% 52% +3%
Growing for friends 69% 16% 10% 26% 21% +5%
For pain relief 17% 21% 57% 78% 79% -1%
For terminal pain relief 15% 22% 59% 81% 82% -1%
Selling from a store 57% 11% 23% 34% 30% +4%

The Poll was conducted by Curia Market Research from 3 July to Tuesday 18 July 2017. The sample was drawn from a random selection of 15,000 eligible NZ voters contactable on a landline. 938 people agreed to participate. The maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.2%, at the 95% confidence level.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day Is Upon Us

On Saturday New Zealand will hold its 52nd election.

Despite differences over the county’s direction and how to get there, being part of a representative democracy is still a precious right.

The politicians and their supporters have had their say.

Many people have exercised their right to vote already and the rest will have their chance until the polls close on Saturday.

Then the results will begin to roll in…

Election Night Results

Advance Voting Statistics

General Election Information: Voters - Who, When And Where


From The Hood: The Campaign Strategist’s Lament

"This election is a chance to really work the record of what nine years of National-led government has done to improve the country for everyone. Or will do. Another three years, maybe six. Thirty-three years, tops. You don’t want to risk that, do you? More>>

PSA Report: National Gets An ‘F’ For Health Funding

"Seeing National’s record on health collected in one place is quite sobering - it’s clear that underfunding is having dire consequences on both patients and staff, who are having to do more than ever with less," says Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary. More>>


Children With Disabilities: Education Crisis Unaddressed

In 2008 IHC lodged its complaint against the on-going failure of New Zealand Governments and the Ministry of Education to ensure that disabled children access a quality education on an equal basis to others in New Zealand schools. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Ten Reasons For Not Voting National

if anyone you know is thinking of voting National in Saturday’s election, there’s still time for an intervention. You owe it to your friends and relations to intercede. Because there’s plenty of evidence on National’s mediocre-to-awful track record over its nine years in power. We can’t afford another three years of drift. More>>


Suffrage Day: PSA National Secretaries Vote For Equal Pay

PSA national secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay are advance voting for the 2017 election alongside their daughters, with equal pay and fairness in mind on the 124th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. More>>


Charge Protests: Dairy Farms Use Same Amount Of Water As 60 Million People

Using Dairy NZ numbers, economist Peter Fraser and agricultural consultant Dr Alison Dewes calculate the water consumption of New Zealand dairy farms is equivalent to the residential use of 60 million people. More>>


Greenpeace: Labour, Greens Commit To Canterbury Democracy

Labour MP Megan Woods is promising to return Canterbury’s regional council, ECan, to a democratically elected council. It follows a mass day-long occupation of the ECan building by local water activists calling for the restoration of democracy and urgent action to save rivers. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts