New Zealand is voting AGAINST the legalization of cannabis, but for euthanasia in landmark referendums – as Jacinda Ardern reveals how she voted
New Zealand voted against the legalization of cannabis in a referendum, preliminary results show.
Initial results show that 53.1 percent of kiwis were against the legalization of the drug, 46.1 percent were in favor.
A separate referendum on euthanasia was held, with the bill receiving overwhelming public support at the end of the live vote.
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she had voted yes to both bills.
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she had voted yes to both bills
New Zealand voted against the legalization of cannabis in a referendum, preliminary results show
More than 65 percent of New Zealanders voted yes to allow euthanasia.
The bill will likely become law in a year.
The National Organization for Reforming Marijuana Laws, NORML, said the initial results are hard to swallow.
"I think it would be fair to say there is a bitter disappointment," said NORML President Chris Fowlie.
But the group said the proximity of the competition will hopefully lead to police and society now increasing tolerance for the drug.
The final result of the cannabis referendum won't be officially announced until November 6th, when another 480,000 special votes will be added.
Special votes, which include detainees on remand, overseas residents, and returning travelers in hotel quarantine, are expected to make up for this 17 percent of the total vote.
While there are still ways to influence the bottom line, the chances remain slim.
Justice Secretary Andrew Little released a statement earlier this morning recognizing the two bills and the direction New Zealand would take following the non-binding vote.
"The End of Life Choice Act has gone through the parliamentary process and received royal approval, so it will come into effect 12 months after the final results – on November 6, 2021," he said.
"Assisted dying is illegal in New Zealand until November 6, 2021. The law is administered by the Department of Health.
& # 39; The Cannabis Legalization and Control Act will not be enacted as law by the Labor government during this term.
& # 39; Subject to the publication of the final results on November 6th, the new government will respect the outcome of both referendums. This means that cannabis use is still illegal in New Zealand. & # 39;
Medical cannabis entrepreneur Paul Manning said legalizing recreational cannabis was a missed opportunity following the COVID-19 pandemic that could have brought billions to the local economy.
"There was a clear economic opportunity attached to the cannabis legalization and control bill that was being missed for the time being," Manning told NZ Stuff.
"Almost half of New Zealand are in favor of broader cannabis reform. So you have to ask yourself if there will be another piece of legislation that will result from it in the not too distant future."
While the cannabis debate has been narrow, kiwis have largely supported reforms around voluntary euthanasia.
New Zealand is now the seventh nation in the world to regulate euthanasia, alongside the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Australia (Victoria and Western Australia) and Canada.
There's more to come.
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