Polls show public misunderstands cannabis vote

Do you understand what the Cannabis Legalisation and Control referendum is all about?

A second poll conducted by Katikati medicinal cannabis firm, Eqalis Pharmaceuticals, is demonstrating a misunderstanding amongst voters ahead of this week’s Cannabis Legalisation and Control referendum.

Only 23 per cent of voters polled understood that the referendum is about recreational cannabis only with the majority believing that access to medicinal cannabis was the core issue they were being asked to decide on.

The same poll conducted two months ago also showed the same percentage of Kiwis are confused.

With less than a week to go before election day, Greg Misson, managing director of Eqalis Pharmaceuticals says the poll results are deeply concerning.

“It’s a huge worry that New Zealanders really don't understand what they're voting for.

“Medicinal cannabis was legalised in New Zealand in March this year. Patients around the country can already access high quality, safe medicinal cannabis on prescription from their doctor. The referendum is definitely not about medical-grade cannabis."

The UMR poll also explored voters’ attitudes to the ‘grow-your-own’ regime proposed by the Bill, with results showing 58 per cent of voters do not think their fellow Kiwis know enough about cannabis to consume home-grown product and 45 per cent think we don’t know enough about cannabis to self-medicate rather than visit a doctor for a prescription.

While the poll shows the referendum vote still a close split with 41 per cent likely to vote for the Bill and 46 per cent against, Mission believes the lack of understanding means it would be difficult for the government to view the vote as a mandate to act.

“When over 75 per cent of voters don’t even understand the question, how can the government treat the referendum result with any seriousness?”

The most recent poll, conducted by UMR earlier this month, found that 22 per cent of voters mistakenly believe the referendum is solely about access to medicinal cannabis while nearly half of all voters believe the referendum is about access to both medicinal and recreational cannabis.

“We need to make it clear to voters that this referendum is about smoking weed, not about medicating patients,” says Misson.

“The referendum represents a chance for Kiwis to vote for something that may have severe social consequences for our society.

"While there are many therapeutic benefits of properly prescribed medicinal cannabis, the recreational use of weed has a number of serious psychoactive side-effects.”

The referendum asks New Zealanders to vote for or against the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

The Bill would make the recreational use of cannabis legal for adults over the age of 20 in certain restricted circumstances. In addition to allowing the sale of some cannabis products, the Bill would allow Kiwis to grow up to two cannabis plants for their own consumption.

Read more about the referendum here.

You may also like...


@ jimmyant + Lvdw

Posted on 15-10-2020 10:12 | By Yadick

Well written jimmyant. Agree totally with you. Lvdw that’s scary stuff you write there but unfortunately you are right.

All about the money

Posted on 14-10-2020 17:53 | By Lvdw

Of course its all about the money. Government wants your tax money from the sale of the dope. The gangs will still make money because they will move onto more profitable drugs like P and heroin and coke. I feel for anyone who thinks this is a good idea. Wait, I can already hear the complaints about drug driving if and when this passes into law.


Posted on 14-10-2020 14:01 | By morepork

If these surveys are right, it shows that the communication to the public was neither clear nor accurate. A simple statement that this is about recreational cannabis and has no bearing on medicinal use should have been made. Maybe it was in the fine print but it certainly looks like the wrong end of the stick has been picked up and we are now voting on something that is not what was intended. Many people who would support medicinal use may not support recreational use, and many who would support recreational use will now claim a much larger support base than actually exists. It is a fiasco.


Posted on 14-10-2020 13:38 | By erinjmc

You are dreaming mate ... Prohibition doesn’t work. Education does.

You are dreaming mate

Posted on 14-10-2020 12:25 | By jimmyant

Profit before people ... Why would you legalise a drug that affects adversely, developing minds, remains in your system for days - thereby compromising your ability to work and drive safely. Because we already have alcohol doesnt justify adding another ’drug’ as many proclaim. The extension of that logic is why not legalise meth!! The gangs will always undercut the price of legally grown dope - the great tax take will not be as good as they claim. The black market will still flourish. Legalising dope will utlimately bring more misery.

Not surprised

Posted on 14-10-2020 11:56 | By Lord Shady

Dimwits get to vote so you get stupid governments and laws.

Profit before people, eh?!

Posted on 14-10-2020 11:16 | By erinjmc

Oh no, people that need to medicate will be able to grow their own or source cheaper alternatives. Yep the same thing that will knock the profit out of it for the gangs and organised crime will do the same to you and Big Pharma. Greed, that’s all this story it comes down too.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now