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Kiwis divided on legalising cannabis, but more are in favour, 1 NEWS poll reveals

As a referendum looms on whether to legalise cannabis, New Zealanders are divided on the issue.

But there’s also significant opposition to the idea, according to the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll. Source: 1 NEWS

The latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll showed Kiwis were slightly more in favour of legalisation than against, with nearly half wanting the drug to be legal.

Forty-six per cent of Kiwis were in favour of legalisation and 41 per cent were against.

Twelve per cent were undecided.

Chlöe Swarbrick from the Green Party said as long as there is a "respectful, robust discussion" about what regulations around cannabis would look like, "we will see an increase in support". 

National's Simeon Brown said there was "a lot of evidence of the harm caused by marijuana, so it's something we need to take very seriously".

Associate Professor of Psychology Joe Boden said it was his view the law should be changed and that "the laws around cannabis are enforced in a discriminatory manner". 

Those who were more likely to support legalisation included Green Party supporters (79 per cent for) and men aged 18-34 (63 per cent for).

Those more likely to oppose the legalisation were Asian New Zealanders (55 per cent against) and National Party supporters (52 per cent against).

Do you think the personal use of marijuana should be legalised?

Yes – 46%
No – 41%
Don’t know – 12%
*Percentages have been rounded and do not add to 100 per cent.

Interviewing took place from October 15 to October 19, with 1006 eligible voters contacted either by landline or mobile phone. The maximum sampling error was ±3.1 per cent.