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

 

New Study Shows Lack Of Majority Support For Cannabis Law Change

Middle-aged New Zealanders are more likely to be opposed to the legalisation of cannabis than in favour of it, a new study from the University of Otago, Christchurch shows.

Almost half of them opposed the legalisation of cannabis compared with almost 30% of people who supported a law change, when asked about it during interviews with University of Otago, Christchurch researchers. In September, New Zealanders will vote on whether to legalise cannabis, which would mean it was widely available for sale.

Researchers also gauged the level of support among its middle-aged participants for decriminalisation – where the drug is not sold legally or widely available but those caught with it would not be prosecuted. Almost half of participants supported the decriminalisation of cannabis. The issue of decriminalisation will not be voted on in September.

While there was not an overwhelming majority of people on either side of the debate for either legalisation or decriminalisation, participants overwhelming supported the medicinal use of cannabis. More than 80% of participants felt doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis products for medicinal purposes.

The study is published in this week’s New Zealand Medical Journal.

Researchers from the University’s Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) interviewed almost 900 people on their attitudes on cannabis harm, legalisation or decriminalisation, and the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The participants in the study were all 40-years-old at the time of interviews. CHDS researchers have followed a group of more than 1000 Cantabrians since their birth in 1977 and have data on most aspects of their lives, including drug use.

The study found:

  • More participants said they were against the legalisation of cannabis than in favour of it. (49.8% against versus 26.8% for). The remaining participants said they were ‘neutral’.
  • A vast majority (90%) felt it should remain illegal for those aged under 18 years to use cannabis.
  • The groups most likely to be opposed to the legalisation of cannabis were women and those with dependants. The groups more likely to be in favour of legalisation were those with prior use of cannabis and other drugs, a history of depression, Maori ancestry, parental drug use and higher educational attainment.
  • More than 70% of participants believed it should remain illegal for private individuals to sell cannabis, and more than half (54.4%) believed cannabis use is harmful.
  • Researchers also asked participants about the decriminalisation of cannabis. Almost half of participants support decriminalization (47.8%) – where the drug is not sold legally or widely available but those caught with it would not be prosecuted. Almost a third of participants were opposed to decriminalization (27.2%), and the remainder were ‘neutral’.
  • More than 80% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that doctors should be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis and a similar percentage of people believed cannabis products were an effective form of relief from chronic pain or physical health problems.

Christchurch Health and Development Study director Professor Joe Boden says the study is an ideal way to gauge attitudes towards cannabis in New Zealand and help predict the outcome of September’s 2020 Cannabis Referendum. It suggests that middle aged, and older New Zealanders, who are more reliable voters, may be more inclined to be opposed to legalizing cannabis, he says.

Professor Boden says the study showed no clear wish for law change in this section of the community, with less than half of participants in favour of either legalisation or decriminalisation.

“We have extensive knowledge about this group’s cannabis use and, as a group, they have reported relatively high levels of cannabis use. But these results show their attitude to cannabis and cannabis legalisation can best be described as ‘conservative’.”

This may be due to the fact that many of the 40-year-olds in this study have dependent children at home, which is often predictive of a negative attitude toward cannabis and cannabis law change.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal


Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>
 

National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:


Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>

ALSO:


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels