As it stands right now, there are two countries that have legalized cannabis for adult use. The first to do so was Uruguay, and the second was Canada. Both countries have experienced their ups and downs when it comes to implementing legalization, but by most measures, the policy change has been a success.
Two other countries, Mexico and Italy, have had Supreme Court decisions rendered which deemed cannabis prohibition to be unconstitutional in those nations. Lawmakers in both countries are working to pass measures to implement legalization per the Court’s directives.
New Zealand will be voting on cannabis legalization in September, and unfortunately for cannabis reform supporters, the latest polling is not favorable. Per 1 News:
Those polled were asked if they are planning on voting for cannabis to be legalised or to remain illegal at this year’s referendum:
Legalise: 40% (up 1 from February’s poll)
Remain illegal: 49% (down 2)
Will not vote: 1%
Don’t know/refused: 11% (down 2)
*Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.
The results of this poll are clearly disappointing, however, cannabis advocates and activists in New Zealand should use it as an opportunity to get motivated and spread the word about the benefits of cannabis legalization, as well as the harms of prohibition.
Cannabis prohibition is a harmful public policy no matter where it exists, and New Zealand is no exception. Hopefully the polling is off, and people are just scared to answer ‘no’ to a pollster yet plan on voting ‘yes’ on Election Day, which is a common phenomenon in places where cannabis is prohibited.