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Yes to euthanasia reform, no to cannabis

October 30, 2020 3:18 pm

The euthanasia referendum has passed the public vote, with 65.2 percent voting in favour, but the cannabis question has 53.1 percent voting ‘no’ so far, preliminary results show.

The number of voters who chose ‘no’ in the End of Life Choice referendum reached 33.8 percent.

In the cannabis question, ‘yes’ received 46.1 percent of the vote so far, compared to 53.1 percent of ‘no’ votes.

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But with almost half a million votes still to be counted, New Zealand will need to wait until next Friday for full and final results.

The eunthanasia question gathered a total of 1,574,645 ‘yes’ votes and 815,829 ‘no’ votes so far.

There were a total of 1,114,485 ‘yes’ votes for cannabis reform, 167,333 short of the 1,281,818 votes for ‘no’.

In a statement, Justice Minister Andrew Little said assisted dying remains illegal in New Zealand until 6 November 2021, and the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill will not be introduced as legislation by the Labour government this term.

The End of Life Choice – or euthanasia – referendum was based on a member’s bill put forward by ACT leader David Seymour, with the aim of legalising a form of safe euthanasia for some people experiencing a terminal illness.

The bill had already passed through Parliament, on the proviso that the referendum held at the election supports it.

The recreational cannabis referendum is a different story. The government released a draft bill for a law it would seek to pass depending on the result, but the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill has not yet been through Parliament so would be subject to change before it was made law.

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