9 in 10 New Zealanders support medicinal marijuana
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9 in 10 New Zealanders support medicinal marijuana

A MAJORITY of New Zealand citizens say they would support legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes ahead of a referendum on personal use of marijuana in the country.

A new study by the country’s Drug Foundation showed that only 10 percent of people responding to a telephone survey said that they thought marijuana should remain illegal for pain management and terminal illnesses.

Two-thirds, meanwhile, said that the drug should either be fully legalised (35 percent) or decriminalised (32 percent) – as opposed to one third thinking the status quo should remain.

“These results show that New Zealanders are ready for a future under which cannabis is regulated. People realise that the way we’re currently dealing with cannabis isn’t working,” said Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell.

“Support for both legalisation and decriminalisation has continued to grow. This is good news for those that support treating drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.”

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New Zealand’s government has promised to hold a referendum on the legalisation of marijuana for recreational use at or prior to the 2020 election.

“The strong and growing support for access to medicinal cannabis is a signal to MPs that people expect change,” added Bell. “There will be widespread disappointment if Parliament fails to listen.”

Changed laws didn’t come in time for 58-year-old Graham Jones, however, who was sentenced to almost 2 years in prison for “poisoning” his work colleagues with a marijuana-laced cake, according to Stuff.co.

“Your offending had a very high potential for harm because it happened in a workplace that uses heavy machinery and equipment,” said the presiding judge. “It is a normal thing for people to bring cakes to work and for other people to eat them.”