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Preliminary results of New Zealand’s cannabis and assisted dying referendums to be released

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand Electoral Commission information materials on the End of Life Choice and Cannabis Legalisation and Control referendums, voted on as part of Election 2020. (Photo by Lynn Grieveson - Newsroom via Getty Images)

Preliminary results of New Zealand’s cannabis and assisted dying referendums to be released

The preliminary results from New Zealand’s cannabis and assisted dying referendums are set to be released on Friday.

Preliminary results of New Zealand’s cannabis and assisted dying referendums to be released

The results, which do not include the count of special votes, will be announced at 2pm by the Electoral Commission.

The final referendum and election results will be released on Friday 6 November.

Kiwis voted in referendums to legalise cannabis and assisted dying when they went to the polls in the general election on 17 October.

New Zealanders were asked whether recreational use of cannabis should be legal, and if people with a terminal illness should have the option of requesting assisted dying.

Voters were asked, “Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?” and “Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?”

The euthanasia referendum is binding and would come into effect in October next year if it passes.

Polling throughout the year has indicated between 60-70 per cent of New Zealanders support legalising euthanasia.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supports the End of Life Choice Act, as does Opposition Leader Judith Collins.

The proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill would allow people to possess and consume cannabis in limited circumstances. The bill aims to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities.

Collins has said she does not support legalising recreational cannabis use, and Ardern has not publicly announced her position.

The cannabis referendum is non-binding, and polling has been volatile.

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