Vote Compass: What you think about... marijuana

Kiwis are split down the middle when it comes to legalising marijuana for personal use, the latest Vote Compass statistics have shown.

Source: 1 NEWS

From 101,000 people sampled, 42 per cent were in favour of legalisation, narrowly ahead of 41 per cent against. 

Source: 1 NEWS

Source: 1 NEWS

Source: 1 NEWS

Seventeen per cent were neutral on the idea, while left-leaning voters, students and Maori more likely to agree with legalisation.

Currently, only TOP and the Green Party have policies to fully legalise cannabis, with Labour, NZ First and the Maori Party on the fence.

National and ACT are against the idea. 

Senior Research Fellow at AUT University Dr Lisa Chant said the results reflected the political split of the country, with a variety "of different ways" available to look at the results. 

Younger people came through as the strongest supporters of personal legalisation, with over half (53 per cent) in support. The 30-39 age group weren't far behind on 50 per cent support. 

Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Chant said factors such as the appeal of Canada's legalisation and the high correlation of criminal offences of young people with marijuana, are influences in their strong support base.

On July 1, 2018, Canada will ease drug restrictions and legalisation of marijuana will come into effect after passing a Bill last March.  

Source: Breakfast


Those in the middle age brackets in support could be influenced by the thinking, "we've got this real problem with youth with criminal convictions becoming unemployable and unable to travel" due to cannabis use or possession, or the legalisation "helping out the criminal justice system" with more time instead allocated towards drugs like methamphetamine. 

Fifty-three per cent of the 65-plus age group disagreed with personal legalisation, but when it comes to legalising medicinal marijuana, Dr Chant believed more Kiwis would be in favour of changing the rules, with the "huge voting block" of baby boomers and older people who would be beginning to support the move. 

Support is reflected in the political parties, with all agreeing with medicinal marijuana legalisation, aside from National and NZ First whose positions were unclear.  

Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter's member's bill on legalising cannabis or cannabis products for Kiwis suffering from a terminal illness or any debilitating condition is up for debate in parliament currently after being drawn from the ballot in June. 

Source: 1 NEWS

Source: 1 NEWS

Over 270,000 people have completed Vote Compass, 1 NEWS' online tool which lets you see how your views line up with the parties' policies. 

Developed by a team of social and statistical scientists from Vox Pop Labs, Vote Compass is a civic engagement application offered in New Zealand exclusively by TVNZ. The findings shown here are based on 101,101 respondents who participated in Vote Compass from August 20, 2017 to August 27, 2017. Unlike online opinion polls, respondents to Vote Compass are not pre-selected. Similar to opinion polls, however, the data are a non-random sample from the population and have been weighted in order to approximate a representative sample. Vote Compass data have been weighted by gender, age, education, religion, occupation, and Mãori descent to ensure the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual population of New Zealand according to census data and other population estimates.