Support for cannabis referendum up but majority still narrow - new poll

Source: 1News

A new poll has found support for cannabis legalisation is up since February, but the majority is still very thin.

However anecdotally some with arthritis say cannabis is their most effective pain relief.

According to the UMR poll, released by the Helen Clark Foundation and the New Zealand Drug Foundation today, 48 per cent are in favour and 43 per cent are opposed.

A previous poll in February by the same operators had support at 46 per cent.

However, the results vary significantly from a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll conducted June 20 to 24. In that poll, just 40 per cent of eligible voters surveyed said they were in favour of legalisation, while 49 per cent said they wanted it to remain illegal. 

Ross Bell, executive director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, says it highlights the importance of discussing the issue.

"Over the last three months we have been approached by many New Zealanders saying this issue is worthy of their attention and they want more information," he says.

"Not everyone knows the basics. This issue is relevant to every New Zealander and they want to talk and have their say on this."

Yesterday, the Prime Minister's chief science adviser released a wrap-up of the research nationally and internationally around cannabis legislation , including its benefits and negatives.

The referendum is part of the 2020 election and asks: Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

The Bill would allow people over 20 to possess and consume cannabis in limited circumstances, including growing their own.