FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 January 2019
New survey reveals huge support for legalising cannabis
In a new survey of over 6,000 New Zealanders 81 percent of people said they would like to see cannabis legalised.
78 percent said adults “should be allowed to grow cannabis for personal use” and 71 percent said “cannabis sales should
be regulated and taxed in a way similar to alcohol”.
When asked what age participants considered to be ‘adult’ 51 percent said over 20.
74 percent of survey participants said that “tax revenue from cannabis sales should be earmarked for drug education,
prevention and treatment.”
The online survey was conducted by community campaign organisation ActionStation and was open to the public from
December 17 to December 21 2018. The survey also asked participants what they perceived as the benefits and risks of
“Overwhelmingly, people talked about the health benefits of cannabis. Even those who don’t support legalisation agreed
that people who need medicinal cannabis should be able to get it.” says Laura O’Connell Rapira, Director of
“People said that legalising cannabis would create a safer, regulated market and enable the government to reallocate
police resources to other areas, such as solving our horrific rates of sexual and domestic violence. They talked about
the economic benefits of increased tax revenue, industry and job creation.”
“They also raised really valid concerns about the potential for corporate control of the cannabis industry, the impact
on young people and the impact on mental health.”
“People are thinking really carefully about this issue ahead of the referendum. It’s important that the legislation
addresses all of these concerns. It’s also important that we ensure the complexity of this issue isn’t reduced to
fearmongering and scare tactics from those who oppose drug law reform because what we found is that many of the people
who are pro-legalisation hold the exact same concerns as those who are against.”
is an independent, crowdfunded, community campaigning organisation.
Of the 6,649 people completed the survey:
• 81 percent (5,356) said adults should be allowed to possess and use cannabis;
• 78 percent (5,080) said adults should be allowed to grow cannabis for personal use;
• 80 percent (5,241) said adults should be allowed to purchase cannabis in licensed premises;
• 43 percent (2,811) said over 18 was considered ‘adult’, 51 percent (3,370) said over 20;
• 71 percent (4,647) said cannabis sales should be regulated and taxed in a way similar to alcohol;
• 74 percent (4,973) said the tax revenue from cannabis sales should be earmarked for drug education, prevention
Demographics of survey participants
o 55 percent (3,588) female;
o 42 percent (2,697) male;
o 1 percent non-binary (64).
o 79 percent (5,420) Pākehā;
o 10 percent (690) Māori;
o 6 percent (435) ‘Other’;
o 2 percent (121) Pasifika;
o 2 percent (121) Asian.
o 11 percent (517) aged 30 and under;
o 23 percent (1,108) aged 31 - 45;
o 30 percent (1,470) aged 46 - 60;
o 29 percent (1,414) aged 61 - 75;
o 6.5 percent (314) aged 75 and above.
Please note: Not all survey participants answered the demographic questions.