Cannabis referendum poll closed up

A Horizon Research survey, commissioned for Helius Therapeutics and (provided exclusively to Stuff) show that support and opposition for the cannabis referendum has closed up to even.

Stuff: New poll shows dead heat in legalise dope vote

I wish they would give things their proper name.

The referendum options are:

  • “Yes, I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.”
  • “No, I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill”.

“For nearly two years we’ve tracked public opinion, and this is an incredible result given early voting starts in just over four weeks. It’s increasingly clear that it will come down to voter registration and election turnout, particularly if younger adults lift their intention to vote,” chief executive of Helius Therapeutics Paul Manning said.

That sounds like standard over-egging the importance of a single poll.

When respondents were given a “not sure” option, 12 per cent took it, leaving 44 per cent in favour and 41 per cent against. The poll then gave people a binary yes/no choice to replicate the choice that people will face when they walk in to vote from October 3. That figure is a dead heat.

People who are not sure are probably less likely to vote. It is still over six weeks until the referendum (and election), but early voting starts in about four weeks.

It looks like opinion is closing up:

Age differences aren’t surprising:

Young people are less likely to vote and older people are more likely to vote so this favours the no vote.

Conducted between 20 and 25 August, the survey sampled over 1300 New Zealanders, and has a margin of error of 2.7 per cent.

The referendum question is:

Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?

  • Yes
    I support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.
  • No
    I do not support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

About the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

The proposed Bill sets out a way for the Government to control and regulate cannabis. This regulatory model covers how people can produce, supply, or consume cannabis.

The Bill’s main purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities.

The Bill legalises restricted access to cannabis

The Bill would allow people to possess and consume cannabis in limited circumstances.

A person aged 20 or over would be able to:

  • buy up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) per day only from licensed outlets
  • enter licensed premises where cannabis is sold or consumed
  • consume cannabis on private property or at licensed premises
  • grow up to 2 plants, with a maximum of 4 plants per household
  • share up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) with another person aged 20 or over.

The Bill’s purpose is to reduce harm to people and communities

The Bill intends to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities by:

  • providing access to legal cannabis that meets quality and potency requirements
  • eliminating the illegal supply of cannabis
  • raising awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use
  • restricting young people’s access to cannabis
  • limiting the public visibility of cannabis
  • requiring health warnings on packaging and at the time of purchase
  • improving access to health and social services, and other kinds of support for families/whānau
  • making sure the response to any breach of the law is fair.

The Bill controls the production and supply of cannabis

The Bill would regulate how cannabis is produced and supplied by:

  • limiting the total amount of licensed cannabis for sale
  • controlling the potency and contents of licensed cannabis and cannabis products
  • applying an excise tax when a product is packaged and labelled for sale
  • setting up a licensing system under which all cannabis-related businesses must hold a licence
  • regulating location and trading hours for premises where cannabis is sold or consumed, in consultation with local communities
  • banning people from importing cannabis and allowing only licensed businesses to import cannabis seeds
  • separating businesses that are licensed to grow cannabis and produce cannabis products from businesses that are licensed to operate premises where cannabis can be sold and consumed.

What’s not included in this referendum?

The proposed Bill does not cover medicinal cannabis, hemp, driving while impaired, or workplace health and safety issues. These are covered by existing laws.

Medicinal cannabis is already legal under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.


Leave a comment


  1. Reply
    • Noel

       /  2nd September 2020

      Latest stats I can find are for 2019.
      European 1872 convictions for cannabis
      Maori 1637 convictions for cannabis.

      • Duker

         /  2nd September 2020

        Those numbers are misleading .
        Convictions include other crimes INCLUDED with the cannabis offence
        Actual numbers for ‘cannabis only’ are around the 100 mark pa.

        Edgeler doesnt seem to have read the proposed legislation, theres plenty of offences still and it favours legal shops in rich white areas run by people catering for high end market while poorer people will still buy theirs from illegal tinny houses and street dealers.

          • No one is forced to use or buy it.

            I will vote YES, although I don’t smoke it myself (I did at university, of course, it was a rite of passage)

            Someone on another blog is squawking that ‘the government wants us all to become stoners’ (her words). She must think that legal = compulsory. Alcohol’s legal, but we are not all alcoholics or even drinkers.

            • Blazer

               /  2nd September 2020

              Do you apply the same logic..i.e ‘No one is forced to use or buy it’…to meth?

            • Fight4nz

               /  2nd September 2020

              1. Humans will consume drugs
              2. They select drug on availability, price, and effect.
              The more effective prohibition of much less harmful drugs has left Meth a market with no competition.
              The legalisation of cannabis cannot make things worse, maybe even provide some gains.
              Very odd that the vast majority of objectors vote for Parties that espouse free markets and individual responsibility. Do they not actually understand their own principles?

      • Fight4nz

         /  2nd September 2020

        What’s the % of population of those ethnicities?

  2. Blazer

     /  2nd September 2020

    What exactly will the legislation allow?

  3. Duker

     /  2nd September 2020

    Different results from the random polls ?
    Its a paid for ‘survey’ not a poll by a corporate marijuana entity.
    Research NZ had a poll in the same period 20-23 Aug which had these results but seem to have slipped off the YNZ radar even though it was reported at Newshub
    46% against
    39% For.

    Click to access CannabisAugust2020.pdf


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