Kiwis keen on legal weed

“New Zealanders continue to show strong support for a change to cannabis law”

A recent poll conducted by the NZ Drug Foundation revealed majority (65%) public support for new cannabis regulation in New Zealand, with 28% support for legalisation, 37% support for decriminalisation, and only 34% support for retaining prohibition. These are similar results to those found in last year’s poll which saw 64% of voters in favour of legalisation (33%) or decriminalisation (31%), revealing that the push for cannabis reform in New Zealand is still strong.

“New Zealanders continue to show strong support for a change to cannabis law, and for good reason,” says Executive Director for the NZ Drug Foundation Ross Bell.  “The current system is broken. Getting a criminal conviction for possessing cannabis ruins peoples’ lives and creates huge downstream costs for society.”

Pot smokers in the land of sheep are not out of the woods yet though. Earlier in the year, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English claimed that the country doesn’t want a cannabis industry, and won’t be legalising any time soon.

This attitude seems to be at odds with the people on the ground.

Poll Breakdown

Illegal Decriminalise Legal

Legal + Decrim

Legal + Decrim

Personal possession

31% 37% 28% 65% 64%

Personal growing

41% 32% 23% 55% 52%

Growing for friends

69% 16% 10% 26%


For pain relief

17% 21% 57% 78%


For terminal pain relief

15% 22% 59% 81%


Selling from a store


11% 23% 34%


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

The push for legal cannabis continues to gather strength in New Zealand as it does on home soil. Let’s hope it happens quickly so that we can watch Bill English swallow his words.

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