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Dr Muriel Newman

Two Referenda

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In early July the Electoral Commission sent out 3.27 million personalised information packs for this year’s General Election. On Saturday 19 September we will not only be asked to vote for the party we would like to be the next government and the candidate we would like as our local Member of Parliament, but also whether we support or oppose the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and the recreational use of cannabis. 

Along with enrolment details, the packs contained referendum pamphlets.

The euthanasia leaflet explains that voters will be asked whether they support or oppose legislation giving people the right to choose to die. While the controversial End of Life Choice Act was finally supported by Parliament after a prolonged and heated public debate, it will only become law if it receives the approval of the majority of New Zealand voters in September’s binding referendum.

While supporters of the law change believe someone who is terminally ill should have the right to chose when to end their life, opponents remain concerned about the potential for the manipulation of those who are sick and vulnerable. They believe the current medical system is able to adequately support people in the final stages of their life.

The cannabis leaflet explains that voters will be asked whether or not they support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill to make recreational dope smoking in New Zealand legal for those aged 20 and above. The results of this indicative referendum are not binding on the new government.

Instead of explaining the objective of the legislation is to legalise the recreational use of cannabis, the Government’s pamphlet claims it is to ‘reduce harm’. This deliberate attempt to sanitise the purpose of the law change, justifies concerns that, in true Orwellian-style, the Government may try to manipulate the referendum vote by disseminating propaganda as the truth.

Broadcaster Mike Hosking was outraged by the pamphlet: “So the con continues to unfold from the government over the cannabis vote in September. In my holiday mail was the official pamphlet, direct from the politburo. Putin would have been proud of it… it reads ‘the bill’s purpose is to reduce harm to people and communities’. No, it isn’t. The bill’s purpose is to legalise, or not, something that is currently illegal. You are voting yes or no, legal or illegal, nothing more.”

Mike wondered whether the Government’s website at www.referendums.govt.nz is “as gerrymandered and biased as the pamphlet”.

The answer is yes. While the website provides detailed information about how the law would work, it does not outline any of the public concerns about widespread cannabis use.

Mike Hosking says, “You know what? The no vote deserves to win, not only because it’s the right health and social outcome, but because the government have been dishonest in putting their case forward. They simply can’t be trusted. They say they have no view, they’re lying. They say they’re neutral, they’re lying. The pamphlet is a snow job masquerading as advice. This isn’t, nor has it ever been, a level playing field.”

He’s right.

When the referendum was first announced, most people expected that the official information provided to voters would cover both sides of the debate – the case in favour of a law change and the case against.

Since the Government has failed to cover the case against the cannabis law change, let’s outline some of the concerns here.

Respiratory specialist Professor Richard Beasley, the Director of the Medical Research Institute, says that while the adverse effects of cannabis use such as “dependence syndrome, impaired adolescent psychosocial development and mental health, and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes” are all well recognised, the adverse respiratory effects are not.

He explains that cannabis is much more damaging to the lungs than tobacco: “One cannabis joint is equivalent to between 2.5 and 5 tobacco cigarettes for adverse effects on lung function. This dose equivalence is consistent with the reported 3 to 5 fold higher levels of carboxyhaemoglobin and tar inhaled when smoking a cannabis joint compared with a tobacco cigarette of the same size.

One cannabis joint is similar to 20 tobacco cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk. While this is a crude estimate, it is consistent with the observation that smoking ‘a few’ cannabis joints a day causes similar abnormal cellular changes in the airways as smoking 20 to 30 tobacco cigarettes.”

Professor Beasley’s recommendations, which are the exact opposite of what the Government is now proposing, state: “It seems reasonable to conclude that public health programmes which are targeted to reduce harm from tobacco smoking need to include greater initiatives to reduce cannabis smoking, and should be directed particularly at younger people. While the major concerns regarding cannabis smoking are appropriately focussed on the mental health effects, it is important that the public is also informed about the potential respiratory effects, so they can make an informed choice, as with tobacco smoking.”

Instead of discouraging pot smoking to reduce lung cancer and save lives, the Government, intends endangering lives by normalising cannabis use – in spite of saying they are committed to the goal of New Zealand becoming smoke free by 2025.

Surely referendum voters should be informed of these crucial health facts.

The US State of Colorado, which legalised cannabis in 2012, provides an indication of what could be in store for New Zealand if the “yes” vote wins.

The State’s former District Attorney Bob Troyer outlined their disastrous experience: “In 2012 we were told Colorado would lead the nation on a grand experiment in commercialized marijuana. Six years later, where has our breathless sprint into full-scale marijuana commercialization led?

“Now Colorado’s youth use marijuana at a rate 85 percent higher than the national average. Now marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up by 151 percent. Now 70 percent of 400 licensed pot shops surveyed recommend that pregnant women use marijuana to treat morning sickness…”

He explained that the commercialisation of cannabis did not result in the claimed boost in tax revenue – because the meagre gains were more than “washed out” by the additional costs of public health, public safety, and regulation. Nor was the cannabis black market eliminated – as claimed. Instead it exploded after commercialisation as sophisticated drug traffickers and money launderers moved in under the cover of legalisation.

Young people, whose brains are the most vulnerable to cannabis addiction, were not protected by the laws, but were instead targeted by commercial producers who hooked them with marijuana pizzas, high potency candy, and consumption equipment that avoided detection at school, such as vape devices that masquerade as highlighter pens.

Bob Troyer says, “I’m not sure the 55 percent of Coloradans who voted for commercialization in 2012 thought they were voting for all this”.

Canada, another country that recently legalised cannabis, showed  an escalation in use by teenagers and young people, as well as a significant rise in the number of people driving after smoking dope.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Dr James Farmer QC, an Auckland barrister who has examined the Government’s proposed cannabis law change and raises a multitude of serious concerns: 

“My understanding, based on public commentary and my own enquiries of Green Party politicians (who are the prime drivers of the referendum), is that the major justification for legalising the supply and use of cannabis products is that it will eliminate the black market that is the present source of supply. If we do that, so it is presumably thought, it is ok if ‘recreational’ marijuana users descend into cloud cuckoo land through the psychoactive effects of THC. We are talking of a so-called victimless crime.

“A question: are the teenage children who observe or otherwise learn of their parents’ recreational activities and who conclude that it must be ok and who take to using cannabis themselves not indeed victims? There is now a considerable body of medical research and experience that establishes beyond doubt that the effect of cannabis on the development of the teenage brain (and indeed up towards mid-twenties) is very harmful, at best inhibiting learning and motivation, at worst triggering schizophrenia and other enduring psychotic illnesses.”

It’s not just young people who can develop devastating psychotic illness through cannabis use – former lawyer Elizabeth Baird experienced these downsides as an adult.

At the peak of her addiction she drove at 165 km per hour across Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, believing her car’s boot was a portal to a parallel universe. Ramming her car into the back of another, she was fortunate that neither she nor the other driver was seriously injured. She avoided Police charges because her psychiatrist declared she was insane.

It was in 2010 that Elizabeth Baird had bought a packet of synthetic cannabis from her local dairy to help cope with stress: “I assumed that if the substance I was smoking was legal then it must have been okay.”

At first she only smoked occasionally, but later things spiralled out of control and she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which she believed was triggered by cannabis use.

She started smoking natural cannabis: “I’d convinced myself that synthetic cannabis was bad and that marijuana, being a natural substance, was good.”

Within three months of regular use she suffered more psychotic episodes, and the following years were a saga of drugs, paranoia, and mental health wards. She lost her job and access to her children, and while she is now rebuilding her life, she still needs on-going medication to counter the damage to her brain caused by cannabis.

Elizabeth Baird opposes the legalisation – and normalisation – of cannabis: “I can see mothers like me going to dinner parties in the future and being offered a toke of cannabis because ‘it is now legal’. They are part of a demographic who would never have dreamed of being involved in illicit drugs.”

Looking back, she says she had no appreciation of the damage that could be caused by regular cannabis use, and she worries that while some people can use cannabis casually, for others, it is a gateway to addiction and more serious drugs. “For that reason, I don’t think cannabis should be legalised. Laws are designed to protect the vulnerable members of our community. That includes young people and those who are predisposed to mental health problems or addiction.”

If the “yes” vote wins it will soon be legal to purchase 30 or so joints a day.

It will be legal to grow two cannabis plants per person, with up to four per household. One mature plant is presently said to be worth around $1,000 in street value.

While the Government claims children will not be impacted by the law change, it is difficult to see how, since the Bill allows cannabis to be grown at home, it encourages “social sharing”, and it legalises cannabis edibles like drinks, cookies, pizza and gummy bears.

While the law allows the establishment of cannabis coffee shops and BYO cafes, it prevents local councils and communities from specifying where they can be set up.

With more road fatalities now involving drivers with drugs in their system than with excess alcohol, the danger on our roads can be expected to increase as more New Zealanders use cannabis.

In spite of the chemical in marijuana that makes people feel “high” able to remain in the body for several days or even weeks, the Bill is silent on the implications for workplace safety and for the work readiness of those on job seeker benefits.

Advance voting for the General Election starts in 5 weeks on September 5, and while the election results will be revealed once the polling booths close at 7pm on September 19, the referenda results will not be available for almost two weeks: provisional results will be announced on October 2, with the final results a week later on October 9. 

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*Do you believe there will be majority support at the referendum for the legalisation of recreational cannabis use?



*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


I think that there are enough drivers from a wide range of differing sectors of society to force this through. It seems to me that our people are very gullible these days and with government behind this bill it will become law and we will pay the costs of this blunder for years to come John
Only a fool could believe that addiction will not follow. We already have more problems than we need with addiction to alcohol and tobacco. Frank
And any sane thinking adult should be seriously concerned about any legalisation of cannabis use. Carolyn
But if it did I really hope our elected representatives have the gumption to find the facts that evidence the folly of legalizing it. And on the strength of that evidence, shut it down forever. Tom
I hope like hell that the vote will be ‘No’ but I fear this incompetent ragtag bunch of dishonest manipulators will use every dirty trick in the book to con the 30% odd of the voting public who don’t know who or what they are voting on until theyre in the polling booth going eeny meeny miny mo! dave
We are being led by the nose Martin
I am hopeful it won’t pass otherwise it could be a disaster. Barbara
hopefully no john
Too many risks on the down-side. Alan
But there is still a high chance that a law change to legalise the drug will go through if we do not oppose it forcefully enough. Murray
The fools already using it will vote yes. Thinkers will vote no. Laura
because the world is evil peter
The first instinct of the Greens is to manipulate rather than by persuasion of all the facts, good or bad, Their socialist drive means they want to destroy the individual and what better way than by legalizing cannabis and harming our society, yes they want to harm people and our communities to establish their socialist elites, along with Comrade Ardern. Socialism has failed everywhere in the world wherever it has been tried. This referendum will be a NO for the Greens and they will not get back into Parliament. Monica
dope makes you dopey Anon
I am hoping that most voters are sensible enough to find out the truth regarding the harm it will do to our society. Perhaps the politicians should experiment on our behalf by smoking it daily for the two weeks of electioneering, so we can see what fools it makes of them. Vic
Yes, but I will be voting NO and will be hoping that the public will be voting no as well. GRANT
I have worked alongside stoned colleagues for 50 years it isn’t any fun, vote NO BUD
We shouldn’t have had one in the first place. We need to reduce emissions from vehicles which was proposed years ago to test exhaust discharge at WOF inspections but they found that there were so many crappy and poorly maintained vehicles, mostly owned by the lower socioeconomic group that they scrapped the idea. Put it on hold — Permanently. Mike
I believe that there is a lot of people out here that will vote no to the bill and the Government is trying to cover up the fact that cannabis is a lethal drug ken
I’m hoping with my fingers and toes firmly crossed that enough sensible people will realise just how dangerous and counter productive it would be to legalise recreational cannabis use. Trevor
I hope that I am wrong. It is and will always be a dangerous drug. People NOT taking in account that they should NOT go behind the wheel. Alcohol is already bad enough, so are prescription medicines. Peter
Hope I’m right nancy
i think most people will realise that this would be the thin end of the wedge. Sheila
I hope not, this is undoubtedly the thin end of the wedge. Get drug testing on the roads up and running, gather some evidence that cannabis drugged drivers are not causing problems, then have a referendum. David
I hope so. These are individual choices for people to make, not to be controlled by government.. Brooke
Definitely no! Marilyn
I certainly hope not! Sarah
Hope not Phyllis
I certainly hope not, but you can never be sure on a product like this. It has been well sold, except the harm Graeme
My major concern is that there is nothing about workplace or driving testing in the one sided information being proposed.This must be addressed before the vote takes place. Steve
Freedom of Choice Russ
I hope not anyway – we have enough major social problems now without deliberately introducing more. I do not understand how politicians can be so stupid Roy
Hopefully not Wolf
if there is we will have more issues to deal with than resources for dealing with them. Lionel
But then this is NZ where it seems anything goes there days and values and standards are outmoded. Graeme
But I sincerely really hope not! Donald
I am hoping the public will vote NO, as we do not currently have enough facilities in the mental health arena, and increased Marijuana usage esp in the younger age group, will increase the need for mental health interventions christine
Unfortunately I think there will be, I’m all for medical use but with the loonie greens and the commie labour party’s wanting it makes me wonder why the govt has spent millions on a advert showing a young lady with boards saying so and so died on the roads by a druged up driver, so my question to the loony govt is if a dope smoking driver injures me can i sue the govt as the driver will be pennyless due to there govt hand out’s will be all spent on dope,fags and booze so there is no change of getting any payout from them. Richard
dont really know at this stage terry
The most absurd issue is that NZ want to be smoke free by 2025 and now wants to approve another smoking product? Pete
I certainly hope not Sue
I think young people will cause that outcome , NZ will become a dangerous place to live. . But then this is a weak government without strong leadership John
The simple fact of the matter is that prohibition has not worked. In fact, it’s been a disaster. Legalisation is a no-brainer. Coker
Sadly yes, a sector of the voting public will vote in their own interest and not for society good. The unintended consequences are well documented. It is very concerning a political party are pushing legalization. The quicker these TOXIC greens are gone the better, Sam
No way, if people vote yes, they idiots Tony
It makes no sense to support cannabis recreational use. This is not about smoking a joint!!!!! Anyone that believes that is being misled. Not that I agree with smoking a joint. Never done it, never will. If the ref passes, then it is highly likely that we will not know that we are being exposed to cannabis products. Ban the lot and enforce the law, which has been allowed to go soft in the lead up to this time. Neil
The country will see a rise in young voters as well as traditional non voters who use these drugs. If this becomes law they will have protection against their illegal use of drug John
The problem is 50% of the population have below average intelligence Bruce
I think although the propaganda says vote yes – most people remain skeptical of the merit of legalization. Mark
I cannot see the elderly voting for it although old hippies might but the majority of the elderly wont. Carol
Hope not. Graham
Unfortunately because of misinformation and the efforts of the Drug Reform man , Bell and others Catherine
I hope not but it may depend on how many younger people vote Juliet
To legalize is to normalize. How absolutely bizarre!. Vote to legalize recreational cannabis then get pinged while driving home under the influence cannabis. Seems ridiculous. It seems true; “to legalize is to normalize.” Stuart
I believe it will get support because the majority do not appreciate what they will be voting for. Medicinal cannabis is already available. Smoking cannabis is more harmful than cigarettes. The government has not provided full advice in the voting packs. Mark
Well, I hope so. As a GP I had to fight long and hard to prevent a really decent, gentle, creative young man from going to prison:. Reason: a neighbour dobbed him in for growing 3 measly plants in his garage: , a third offence of a similar nature. The Cannabis has kept him OK mentally in a very stressful life. He had a wife who also smoked cannabis [not cigarettes] and she was expecting their first child. Is smoking bad? Yes! but very more cigarettes are smoked per day than joints, and they are not illegal. Cannabis can have its effect via cookies etc .. not allowed in this proposed law! But possible in the future. I have never smoked pot, but very many of my family, colleagues and friends have at some time or other. Theoretically they are all criminals. This present situation makes no sense. Rochelle
i hope not john
I believe Jacinda is holding onto power because she is enjoying power. When she speaks she is like Barack Obama, talk for 30 minutes and say nothing. From the start she has let the Greens do as they wish and get away with it. john
I think this govt must have smoking too much dope to think this is a good idea Alan
I sincerely pray it won’t be Meg
unfortunately, YES. Helen
same as if they are saying its ok to drive drunk Francis
Hope not Brian
I hope not-it will be a disaster if the ‘yes’ vote wins. David
Because the misleading, negative hype by the media & commentators will be seen for the false garbage it is and not deter those of us who have had successful lives along with the use of marijuana for over 55 years. Amen James
Making a dangerous damaging drug easily available is hardly responsible. Reason may prevail. Anon
Legalese cannabis leads on to other drugs. Dave
costly – not enough known of further cost Beth
I sincerely hope not as I have seen first-hand the destruction it can cause , especially in young people. Janet
Because hopefully the decent, intelligent people in our community will remember the damage done in our small community by drugs such as cannabis and will vote against it !! Cindy
I done as it would open a whole raft of problems requiting NEW laws to have to be passed. Carl
I hope not, but the ignorant populace are being sold a fake bill of goods to believe they are doing the right thing voting yes. As a nurse I have seen marijuana use trigger psychosis and had a family member affected this way. Lianne
Hopefully not but I don’t know of course. Gee I hate this government. Eric
I hope not but fear the worst. I watched my very intelligent and creative aunt suffer the effects of prolonged cannabis use, which ruined the last years of her life, physically and mentally. Paloma
Yes, unless somehow the compelling arguments against get a strong push in social, print and other media. I answered yes, but I sincerely hope for a No vote. Even if there is a strong No vote, should we be unlucky enough to have another Labour Greens govt, the No vote would be disregarded. Guaranteed. Bruce
Can anyone please explain how the Nanny State (AKA Socialist Government) is determined to wean us off tobacco because of its harmful effects, but lead us toward legalised use of cannabis, with its much more harmful effects? No. I thought not. It will be interesting to see which mind-altering drug is next if this proposal passes. Believe me, this is just the start! Similarly, is it possible to explain their stated wish to reduce suicide numbers when considered alongside this End of Life “Choice” proposal? No, I thought not. Life is life, and is precious whether it is owned by a teenager, bewildered by the deceitful and conflicting messages delivered by all broadcasting media; or by someone in need of the love of a family and care from medical professionals. These proposals represent a slide into social decay and the total degradation of morals, and must be resisted with all of our remaining power. Please vote NO. TOBY
worse than tobacco norman
There needs to be clear information for and against Bryan
I hope not! rod
If this legislation passes, it sets a dangerous future for our most vulnerable, but also those who think it is “cool” to partake. All NZers should be voting against this legalisation of recreational drug jenny
Remember this government is not a Labour Government it is a Socialist Government and as such will continue to drive NZ down into a Social Democracy. At the end of this road is Venezuela! The problem for NZ is Voter apathy when it comes to voting out “Nanny States.” The Voter is about one term behind removing them and in that time more damage is done to the NZ economy. This time if the voter does not remove them – the country will be in a Depression with nowhere to go but follow the road to self-destruction. Best to remove Comrade Adern in this Election coming up! Frederick
I could be wrong. cyril
I certainly hope not.I cant believe this crazy govt. would even consider such a scheme.I suppose ,because they have smoked it themselves and their brains don’t function normally, it must be okay. Ross
I believe that a huge number of the young people and many many others will believe the present government, that LSD is harmless, and will smoke it flat out. Richard
Because there are too many people who profiteer off it and those who don’t use don’t want it. It is a cash cow for the government and simply those who want to grow for their own use is not a big enough group. I don’t use but support it being legalized. Sharon
Another drug more damage to people who use it. Take the tax off Cigarettes and Alcohol No way but here is Cannibals to stupify you is okay no tax Frank
I really hope COMMON sense wins.We have enough trouble with drivers high on drugs.This is just ANOTHER CONTROL bill which will make labour/greens more able to control people,who will be drug free & able to get out of bed & work,benefits will rise but hardly anyone will be drug free & pay tax so ONLY us common sense people will be able to pay tax & the govt. will have to INCREASE our taxes as they wont have money to repair/look after people.THEY NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS-more mental health issues will need money but hey everyone theres NO MONEY,as for teachers they all ready put up with violent children now there will be MANY MORE. I agree with people having the choice to end their painful life,ITS THEIR CHOICE NOT the govt/dr,s but THEIRS. Cindy
I certainly hope that this disease is not legalised. we have enough addled brains in the country now, look no further than the present coalition govt of NZ for compelling evidence of the danger of cannabis. Bob
Hopefully, I am wrong. It would be nothing short of disastrous if it did become legal. Damn the Greenies, I hope they a never seen again Don
I do not Support the liberalization of cannabis what about the dangerous mixture of drugs and booze when driving Barry
I trust those who have access to your excellent article today, will make a clear judgment of NO! on the day. any other answer will sink us even lower, and harm so many young people Russell
Jacinda will sell drugs to our children to stay in power. This is why she has linked legalising mind altering drugs to a general election. She believes societies drop kicks will be encouraged to come out and vote for drugs and at the same time be dumb enough to vote for her or the hippy party at the same time. Jacinda should be ashamed of this, and the fact that Auntie Helen is supporting her on this, should be enough to demonstrate the true desperation of socialism and its utter irrelevance in a modern world. Labour does not make any sense. Jacinda is a bare faced liar. Luke
I hope Bill
Why not attack the real problem , gangs Keith
Anybody with half a brain would know what the end result would be in terms of its impact on our communities. Look at the experience in Colorado – we don’t want a repeat of that. Kerry
Government information is slanted towards getting a yes vote and the Greens are pushing it hard. Gary
I hope not surely the sensible population of NZ will understand that to legalise this drug use is stupid Andrew
I do think the vote will be close though and that will be testament the propaganda and bullshit from the likes of Swarbrick. Carol
I sure hope not, because if Marijuana is Legalized in this Country , it is a Hand Cart to Hell.. As has already been indicated from other places that have legalized, it does NOT go to the perfect Plan because that’s Human nature. This is also another way to control People. Some folk want to call N Z, Aotearoa, Long white Cloud, perhaps this may just symbolize what it will become. Geoff
Another tax revenue that is desperately needed. Bob
We are not that stupid are we ??? Darryl
The psycho, respiratory, work and driving harm and gateway to harder drugs RISKS are need spelling out as does health system cost impact. Why legalise anything that has potential to make life more difficult or destroy it for our young, or anyone! Vote NO. Stan
I worry that there are too many people who want to believe that pot is harmless. John
we hope not . Roy
Underage use will increase Alan
California has had recreational cannabis for 3-4 years and it’s a pleasure to go to a dispensary and have beautifully presented products and pay with a credit card. Modern vap tools eliminate the respiratory problems of the cannabis resin in the lungs. Having the freedom to choose to wind down at the end of the day with a wine and some cannabis and be a law abiding citizen is a very satisfying thing. Cole
Dr Newman’s article outlines the danger of the legislation; sadly there are too many smokers in society who will not understand this. Peter
Why Yes, I voted? Because the Marxist taught millennia children believe everything the left espouse. Rex
This is not what I would wish the outcome to be, but given the majority seem to believe anything that is supported by Miss Ardern and promoted by the Greens, a party that won just 6% of the Party Vote. The pamphlet and its supporting Web site do not present a balanced view but push the line promoted by the Greens (the movers of the proposed legislation) which is also supported by the Labour Party. The Saint Captain’s Call will yet again lead the electorate using “science” that supports her beliefs, not science that embraces all evidence and is governed by true science methodology. I really hope I am proven to be wrong! Michael
It will be a retrograde step if that happens and more young people and their families will be seriously affected for the rest of their lives. More deaths on our roads and more hard drugs used because of the use of Cannabis. Laurel
As aq concentrate for medical purposes i approve but as a smoking habit I do not. IAN
We already have alcohol why do we need to add drugs to the list? Eric
N O, nor should there be…. Mabel
I sincerely hope not. Allan
Not sure how to answer that question I don’t want it to be legal we have enough to deal with at the moment with p, booze and other drugs Lyn
This insane, shortsighted and dangerous proposal by this current, irresponsible Government, will allow the creation of a N.Z. beyond recognition. I firmly believe that the overall effects of legalising cannabis, will dwarf the impact of both Covid 19 and our current economic plight. Alan
I worry about the increased incidence of motor crashes and the increased costs of hospitalizing and putting foolish people together again. Derek
Sadly I fear there might be majority support, primarily, because there has been so much fudging of facts, and the average Jo Blow isn’t aware of all the facts. I will certainly be voting NO Ted
Legalise a personal choice or ban alcohol, tobacco and any other legal but dangerous substance. Being legal is not the same as being promoted! ray
People are not sufficiently informed of the side effects of smoking. Florence
Definitely not. Tony
I would like to see a yes/no non identifiable survey carried out in colleges as to the number of students who have tried or are now smoking cannabis. In the countries where it was legalised I suspect people who were using it now own up to it. Perhaps the dangers of vaping should be looked into regarding respiratory disease and no I don’t smoke anything and hardly drink alcohol Robert
It has been known for years that cannabis is harmful to health so it would make sense that rational people would vote against it. However you will get the young and criminal element voting for it. Let’s hope they don’t get out of bed on voting day. Dennis
I certainly hope not. Barbara
Hopefully the majority of voters are too sensible to legalise cannabis. Diana
most people know better gerard
I hope enough people will see the harm and vote against it Arthur
Poison. mike
There must not be David
Xinda The Witch is 100% on the money with these two questions …. let’s legalise euthanasia for all the drug ***d morons in society …. along with late-term abortion …. Xinda The Witch is our queen of death Steve
Only dumb people would smoke that rubbish ( Shit ) Tom
I think there are a lot more people who are intelligent and will vote NO, and not too stupid people who would vote yes. If the majority vote yes. the Greens and Labour should be crucified for they have misled the people. Rod
Hope not. However, a yes vote, IMHO, surely will be the ‘thin end of the wedge’! David
I am hoping the people of NZ will realise that by legalising cannabis will be disaster for our country. Cannabis is the first step on the drugs ladder ie soft at first and then onto the hard stuff – not good for our young people. We just have to look at the Netherlands – the people of Amsterdam hate what legalising cannabis has done to their City and want to reverse the law. Muriel
yes due to the state of New Zealanders minds . with dumbed down education. steven
I sincerely hope so. Surely common sense will prevail although that seems to be missing these days. There is no way in hell that consumption will be successfully monitored they (the government agencies) can deal with the present situation. It is a road to disaster. chris
The Green Reds and their Red Green allies would love us to all zombie up while they legislate their socialism programmes. Francis
Too many young lives ruined and the controls would not be realistic. Roger
Unless the young get out to vote Colin
I hope not. ian
Simply the biased literature from the Justice Department has been shameful. I’ve tried emailing them but all recommendations have not been accepted. Jasmine
I certainly hope not! Albert
sincerely hope not anthony
I am hoping not. Moyra
The repercussions are mind numbing. I am in construction and shudder to consider the consequences ROGER
I want mainstream politicians to declare before the election whether they are for or against legalization. There are lots of votes for those who declare NO. Richard
Pretty harmless stuff. – 70 yrs experience roger
I sincerely hope not. Just have a good look at Colorado and Canada if you want convincing that it’s NOT OK !!!!!! NZ is not peopled by citizens who can handle the sensible use of cannabis — if there is such a thing which I doubt from a medical point of view as well. Alan
This is a disgrace.. it should not be legalised. its all part of the dumbing down of individuals. Kate
I simply can not believe that a majority of New Zealanders are so stupid as to legalize such a destructive poison. It is perfectly obvious that the Greens want to turn as many people as possible into compliant zombies. As a friend of mine, who worked in security for a while said “Stoners are far easier to manage than drunks”. So people if you want your kids to be stoned while they are propagandized at school, then vote yes. Otherwise, wise up and vote no. The propaganda that surrounds this referendum is both prolific and abhorrent. I believe the Greens are also the fall guys for Labour policy. All commos and socialists and God help us, if they get back in to Government. Dianna
weed RICHard
Unfortunately I believe this will receive majority support as, (and again I say unfortunately), there are too many people in this country who are not too clever and believe dope is not harmful. To try legalise it is a joke, particularly coming from this shambolic government who want the country to be smoke free by 2025. Talk about a contradiction in terms! Graham
There will be 3 sources of supply being commercial, grow your own and the black market. It will be chaos. Andrew Little and Helen Clark are driving this as much as the Greens. Phil
Rightly or wrongly, my prediction is that it will fly through. Barend
I certainly hope not. Accurate information should be given out. Not this harm management stuff. Bev
WE as people must have the right to take in our bodies what we think is alright for us. People are the most addicted to food – can you stop these people?? Nina
What an absolutely insane referendum. I hope NZ voters have more sense than the idiots who set up this referendum Patrick
most of my acquaintances wont, but only after you advise that Medicinal is legal. (most aren’t aware of this fact. rosemary
I am against it. Decrimalise it maybe. Sheena
A dangerous decision for both young people and for Maori. the gang culture are gearing up for this already peter
A terrible recreation Jim
There is no policy on how this legislation will be implemented. for an example what will be the law in the work place where drugs impair work operations Les
I think ALL drug users should be able to be educated and studies conducted with open access to information which they are keeping quiet on currently – some of the reported increases worldwide are just an increase in honesty when no longer illegal. How about Kava use being shifted into the illegal as a good swap – I have seen an explosion in this so called SAFER alternative!!! Garth
I’m concerned that a majority will think freer access will be great, they will not consider the health risk as Jacinda can do no wrong!!! John
The mental and physical damage caused by cannabis use had already been clearly identified as far back as the late ’60’s – early ’70’s. Unfortunately we still have the same lunatic fringe pushing it – only this time it is a political party! Hopefully the majority of voters will have enough nous to give this proposal the old heave-ho in the coming election – and the Green Party along with it, to ensure that the damage they have already done will not be compounded. Scott
Tell Your Children by Alex Berenson, this book should be compulsory reading for every parent, unfortunately parenting among some of the younger generation is bereft of common sense. They will live to rue the day, blame everyone and everything just like they do these days, when their dak smoking kids lives end tragically , in the many ways that they can. All I can say is thank heavens my child rearing days are over, but I despair at how safe our grandchildren will be to other peoples pot smoking morons. Merryl
The risks from drug impaired work, driving a motor vehicle, on a student’s ability to study are simply too great, quite apart from the likelihood of leading to stronger drug use. Donald
No I certainly hope not there is no proof that there is any benefit from consuming cannabis in fact quite the opposite it is very harmful And legalising is not going to stop the hands and dealers Peter
Unfortunately looks from public opinion that there will support for dope Russell
I believe there will be majority support as the Act has not been clearly explained to the voting public and the risks to health have not been emphasised. Such a shame our children and grandchildren will be the ones to have increased health issues if this referendum passes and is put into law. Margaret
Unfortunately yes as most people have not really thought about it and will just go along with what the government says. Brian
I think the bulk of people have common sense. Andrew
At least I hope not. Brian
Cannabis & assoc products have evolved hugely over the decades to become more addictive. Plus it’s a good base product to add P synthetic drug. Leanne
It’s a drug and worse than cigarettes that the government is doing all possible to eliminate – it doesn’t make sense and it only leads to further health problems Sheryl
I hope not Miles
I am rather sceptical of my no vote here. But I hope it i s right. I do think the general population are so taken by comrade Jacinda that they would vote anything the Labour Government would approve of Anon
yes but it will mean that the looney tunes out there now will become more loony, god forbid james
With the harsh clampdown and heavy fines associated with DUI, it is only logical that younger people will want switch to cannabis, without the crime aspect. May God help & protect us normal people on the roads ! Pierre
I hope not Gareth
If it does pass it will mean more variety of drugs sometime down the track Arthur
Unfortunately I think the “Woke” brigade with the help of the media will win narrowly. Ronbert
Government “legalisation” of severe brain and lung damage of the citizens of New Zealand….. A Crime against Humanity…. Chris
I voted NO —but this is based on the principle of hope. These days I am not so sure anymore about how people manage to maintain a sound level of sanity under this incessant bombardment of fake news and opinion pieces traded as journalism. And let us not forget that the Comrade has bought MSM with 50 Million $ of our money and the effects of this state owned propaganda machine can be discerned at every level of our society. . The rot has set in quite some time before that but the pace is accelerating. As far as these two referenda is concerned: All part of the greater agenda to undermine and destroy the last remnants of morale fiber in our society and create a new kind of ‘citizen ‘. oblivious to the serious implications to that sort of conduct. Michael
I absolutely hope it doesn’t happen. It would be disastrous not only for adults but especially for our youth. Helen
Yes cannabis is not without its problems, but alcohol is far worse so lets level the field and make alcohol illegal as well. I see everyone again cannabis avoids any reference to alcohol. I wonder why. Casey
I hope not. I do not want my grandchildren growing up in a world of zombies being dictated to by a government. Chris
the law is already in place for medical marijuana so no need to make it legal for everyone. Erin
I sincerely hope not, the government has presented a a false picture of the harm caused by cannabis use and I can only assume that it is in favour of legalising it. Terry
Follow the science and the USA experience , legalisation is absurd john
Only for medical purposes. Recreational purposes-NO TO THIS POISON! John
More Green Party lunacy, plus of course the usual brain dead tossers from Labour. Chris
I believe serious and well thinking NZ people can see through the “haze”! Joe
Sadly yes. Hate the stuff and the harm it does. David
I oppose it vehemently but I am afraid that the strong left thinking surge at the moment will result in support for it Geoff
Unfortunately, yes. But it seems the ayes and noes are coming closer together. I pray that the referendum’s result will show strong public opinion against not legalising this potent drug. Yes, we have been not been given anything near balanced information on marijuana, rather propaganda. This government, pushed by the Green party, is lying to the “team of five million” about the actual and potential hazards of legalising this drug. Jacinda promised “open government” with no surprises or fast-tracked legislation. She and her government have let us down on both counts, and many more. Laurence
I sincerely hope not. The issue has been push by loony Greenies who don’t care for the health of youth nor do they worry about the effects Cannabis has on drivers. They falsely say it’s for safe control. Rubbish. No one needs cannabis unless prescribe for some medical condition. Graeme
NO! I certainly hope not. How many dimwits are there. Look at MMCC believers – There are plenty. No no no! Doug
unfortunately the present govt is going for the young voter. They have forgotten that a bigger block of voters is the baby boomers. Hopefully we will prevail with a NO vote. mike
Depends who votes, the nutters or the non nutters Warren
Unfortunately there probably will be due to bias campaign and general lack of public knowledge Carolyn
Maori will insist that is is a YES. Next is sole rights for Maori to farm cannabis. Dave
Unfortunately, because most people (Labour and Green supporters) are brainwashed and believe all they hear. I shudder to think of the consequences if it is legalised. Fraser
Hopefully people are not that stupid Graham
I hope not anyway. Russell
Having voted “NO” I still wonder at the huge number of total idiots living in New Zealand. They will vote yes because they’re too stupid to see the harm. Jenny
Your article is the first load of real rubbish I have seen from you. I am 75, and an ex grower and smoker some 40 years ago. I grew and smoked for about ten years. I gave up because I got bored. Sorry but your article is totally wrong in evey way possible. Home grown is not addictive, and definitely not psychologically harmful. I dont agree with smoking in anyway – including Tabaco or cannabis, but using it in food is fine. Our roads are cluttered with cops wanting to make a quick buck for th Government, and so it should be no problem to control the driving aspect. YOu simpley cannot publish such rat as what you have written. Its total fabrication of lies and misinformation. tony
Why have another mind-bending drug.!! Are we not satisfied with alcohol & tobacco already? Tony
combine the two issues cannabis for the end of life owen
I hope not and the data I have received over the years from drug rehabilitation people says no way! Graeme
I sincerely hope NOT! During time working on a High Dependency Mental Health ward, I learned from almost ALL the patients that their problems started with ‘weed’ and they moved onward and upward on to even more harmful substances. The current Referenda propaganda is SOOOO DANGEROUS. WHY would we want ANOTHER anti-social drug legalised when alcohol does so much harm. Are the politicians MAD! Sylvia
AND I am unhappy about it!! Isa
HOPE NOT Maurice
Probably no will get the edge but it is irresponsible that we are not getting a far more very public discussion and information such as this so people an make a truly informed decision.I have had friends who don’t use it saying that it has had no ill affects in US or Canada. Gail
I do hope that there is not a majority vote to legalise recreational cannabis use. We have enough harm being done by the legal use of alcohol and tobacco without adding to this country’s problems. There are far too many spaced out idiots walking our streets and more worryingly driving on our roads as it is. Before we even consider this issue we would need to have an effective and efficient roadside testing regime in place. This whole business is being driven by big business who are down on the starting blocks waiting to coin it. Don’t forget the tax revenue (just like alcohol) the Govt will rake in. This is all about self interest groups and not about the good of the country. There will be no going back if it is introduced. Gary
I am hoping no, but suspect it will be a close-run thing. Legalising marijuana will be a great leap backwards, but one which matches the Green and Labour Parties’ goals. Gavin
Not enough advice has been provided by this ‘government’ about the harmful effects of smoking pot, also the double speak of saying okay to pot smoking but being smoke free by 2025 is cognitive dissonance 1984 style. Max
And about time too! Owen
Hopefully not! David
Sadly there’s enough propaganda out there to sway people to think it would be okay – I am totally against it, but there’s not enough information in the public domain about the negative effects of this drug Cecilie
Certainly hope not! The damage to our society long term, will be immense! the so called “gains” are misguided, to say the least! Everyone, do your best to make your friends and family aware of the issues raised in here, and the effects found in Colorado and Canada! Hugh
Hopefully the average voter will realise the dangers of legalising Cannabis and vote against it. The law should remain as it stands ie decriminalisation which allows discretion by the Police to act on any incidences which involve cannabis because at least there still is an element of illegitimacy which perhaps prevents some youngsters from partaking of a joint. Allan
No! It weakens one’s mental capacity, will cause more road accidents and put a further strain and cost on our state health system. Don
what type of government would want to legalize a mind altering drug of any type…. obviously a government without a brain! Des
We have been endeavouring to reduce smoking for years. This will only reverser that trend. John
There are few sane people out there Bruce
Anyone with half a brain can see what the consequences of this law will be. Msrgarer
we should be trying to reduce head on crashes murray
Sadly, I think that the cannabis referendum will be passed. The Police, Public Health, ect will be picking up the pieces of shattered lifes for years to come. Carl
I sincerely hope not John
Unfortunately there will be majority support for the canabis bill, however it is not the right answer. Too many people will not look deeper into the effects on individuals or society as a whole. This is a corrupt government that is not doing its job properly in the way. This issue has been handled. Andrew Little has a lot to answer for in how he has handled this matter. Peter
More and more people I talk to believe it will improve the current black market situation and will not increase use Graham
It won’t matter either way if Communist Cindy gets in . It will pass it anyway Greg
I like to believe that there is still a majority of sensible kiwis but what we are seeing with Arderns socialism and the Waco Greens there obviously is a huge number of losers needing care and who can’t think at all Don
should not be legalised Tony
This is a cynical move by the Greens to garner up more support. Brains addled by psychoactive substances are less likely to see through Marxist Green policies. Lee
Promoted by hypocrites Kelvin
No. I certainly hope not. Odd question to ask… how can anyone predict the result of a referendum? I don’t predict rain Wednesday week either!  Bruce
Only those with half a brain would support this dumb referendum Peter
I certainly hope that the majority of New Zealanders have the common sense to vote against the legalisation of cannabis. It will be detrimental to all in society, be it in health and safety, or economics. Jill
What is wrong with National? They make no mention of broken Govt. departments under this labour govt, e.g. Immigration Civil Aviation Police I,m sure there are more Don
Yes there will likely be support, very unfortunately, largely due to the misinformation spread by the pro-dope greens and their lightweight cohorts. Those who argue for the medicinal use of cannabis are basing their argument on dishonestly. The truth is that the cannabis cultivar grown for medicinal use does not contact THC and that users whilst benefitting pain relief will not experience a high. Get real everybody and grow up! Peter
At least I am hoping that the majority will not be conned and vote against. Richard
Cannibis will never disappear whether legal or not so why should we waste so much costs in finding & prosecuting the lawbreakers, there are much more serious offences for the police & courts to chase.Legalise & stop the gangs from profiting from it. mike
This is a dangerous and habit-forming drug that will put those who partake onto a slippery slope into hell. Robert
Really hope not, but a lot of young ones who don%u2019t usually vote will this time. The dumbest thing is that Labour want to stop smoking by 2025 and then are maybe going to re-introduce it with a more harmful drug!! I have seen first hand a young relative a few years ago smoking it and then diagnosing with bipolar. He killed himself driving in front of a bus! And the Greens…well need I say more!! Already off their rockers. Chris
dope is the right description for users. chris
Making anything illegal simply drives its use underground and into the clutches of organised crime. To use or not use is a personal choice and a case for strong education as to why using is a stupid idea. I I will be voting yes because I do not believe any government has any right to dictate freedom of choice. Richard
Hopefully not.. Will be an absolute disaster if passed. Ross
Don’t agree with this bill Kevin
The referendum makes no difference because the people in this government have already decided to legalize and commercially exploit it just as alcohol is. Charlie
Probably but I hope not. This referendum is an oxymoron. They want to reduce smoking tobacco and then want to legalise smoking dope – the half brain cell that proposed this is non-functioning. Kevin
Well, I certainly hope not. Legalising cannabis would be a retrograde step for all New Zealanders. However, I would like to see access to the other side of this being the powerful antioxidant Cannabidiol aka CBD, which, amongst many other benefits, may, when correctly mixed with Tetrahydrocannabidiol aka THC, be a great aid to controlling epileptic fits especially in children. Graeme
At least I hope so. The country is trying to become smoke free by 2025 but the very dangerous Greens are promoting this very dangerous drug. Legalization will not eliminate the black market just make it more emboldened and it will supply stronger forms of the drug. Just look at Colorado to see the real results of legalization. More Drugged driving, more Teenage brain damage more harm than the feel good ideas of the proponents Please vote NO Robin
The support will be there but that is not good. john
Start of a slippery slope, with these addictive drugs. Peter
To think that legalisation will kill the black market shows how delusional thinking is very much part of the Greens. They should stick to tree hugging ! tony
The sensible and mature part of NZ can readily identify the dangers and horrors that legalisation of recreational cannabis use would inflict Jim
The referendum is incorrectly worded and does not cover the health and well bearing questions associated. Merv
I absolutely hope it doesn’t pass as it would be disastrous for this country. That the Greens should even promote the recreational use of dope shows just how dangerous they are. The best election result would be them voted out of Parliament altogether. Colleen
I do not want to see drugs encouraged by any government. We already have a serious dependency problem in NZ and legalising recreational cannabis use would make it much, much worse  Timothy
Let’s hope common sense prevails and the public vote NO.  Simon
The Greens are a real threat to this country with their extremist ideas. Labour should never have agreed to this referendum. Social problems in this country are bad enough without adding legalised drug use to the mix. Dennis
I hope not! Roger