New Zealand, Cannabis, Euthanesia

Eleanor Ainge Roy, in the Guardian, reports on New Zealand’s support of euthanasia but not use of cannabis. October 2020.

Jacinda Ardern

New Zealanders have voted to legalise euthanasia for those with a terminal illness, in a victory for campaigners who say people suffering extreme pain should be given a choice over how and when to bring their life to a close.

The decision on whether to legalise euthanasia appeared as a referendum question on the 17 October general election ballot paper, alongside a second referendum question on whether to legalise cannabis – which did not succeed, according to preliminary results.

The results of the euthanasia referendum are binding and will see the act come into effect 12 months from the final results – on 6 November 2021. Assisted dying will be administered by the Ministry of Health.

Preliminary results announced on Friday by the electoral commission saw 65.2% of eligible voters tick “yes” to legalising euthanasia, with 33.8% ticking “no”.

Only 46.1 % of New Zealanders voted to legalise cannabis, while 53.1% voted no.

The referendum results so far do not include nearly half a million special votes, meaning the final results will not be confirmed until 6 November.

This has left cannabis supporters hoping special votes may be able to tip the outcome, but they would need to be overwhelmingly in favour – an outcome seen as slim.

For years support for euthanasia has hovered around the 60-70% mark in polls, with widespread backing across the political spectrum, from prime minister Jacinda Ardern to opposition leader Judith Collins.

Read more : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/30/new-zealand-votes-to-legalise-euthanasia-but-against-legalising-cannabis-in-referendum?

About Eleanor Ainge Roy : https://www.theguardian.com/profile/eleanor-ainge-roy

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