A University of Otago study has found middle-aged New Zealanders are more likely to oppose the legalisation of cannabis in the lead up to this year’s referendum. Reports TV 1 News.



The study, published in this week’s New Zealand Medical Journal from the university’s Christchurch campus, found 49.8 per cent of respondents, all 40 years old, opposed legalising cannabis which would make it more widely available. Meanwhile, 26.8 per cent supported a law change and the remaining were “neutral”.

Those who opposed cannabis legalisation were likely to be women with dependents. Groups who were more likely to be in favour were those who had used cannabis or other drugs before, had a history of depression, were Māori or had a higher education level.

Christchurch Health and Development Study director Professor Joe Boden said the study could help predict the outcome of the cannabis referendum.

“It suggests that middle-aged, and older New Zealanders, who are more reliable voters, may be more inclined to be opposed to legalising cannabis,” he said.

“We have extensive knowledge about this group’s cannabis use and, as a group, they have reported relatively high levels of cannabis use. But these results show their attitude to cannabis and cannabis legalisation can best be described as ‘conservative’.”