The cannabis referendum result has narrowed significantly under special votes, but the 'no' vote has still prevailed.
After the special votes were counted, a total of 50.7 percent voted against cannabis law reform, while 48.4 percent were
in favour of new legislation.
Just 67,662 votes separated the votes.
The End of Life Choice Act gained 65.2 percent support on election day, and after today's results has barely dropped to
Final results are now available, after about 500,000 special votes, from about 17 percent of voters, were counted.
Drug Foundation chairperson Tuari Potiki said although the majority of people had probably voted against the
legalisation of cannabis, the government could still decriminalise the drug.
"There's a very clear call, I believe, through the referendum for some sort of change."
After the election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had voted "yes" in the referendums
on the legalisation of recreational cannabis and voluntary euthanasia.
She has committed to progressing legislation "in line with the will of the people following the release of the final
Potiki said action was needed following Ardern's statements.
"The prime minister comes out and says the reason she voted for legalisation was she believed people should not be
criminalised," he said.
"We can't just say that and leave it."
National's drug reform spokesperson Nick Smith has said his party would not support any move that would make cannabis
more readily available.
The special votes also meant the National Party lost two seats compared to election night
, with Labour and the Māori Party picking up one each.
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