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Referendum To Legalise Cannabis In New Zealand Has Officially Failed By Tiny Margin

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Referendum To Legalise Cannabis In New Zealand Has Officially Failed By Tiny Margin

New Zealand has officially voted against legalising cannabis for recreational use.

The country went to the polls last month on three big ballots: the general election, whether to legalise weed for personal use and whether to legalise euthanasia.

This time last week, interim results were released showing that the cannabis vote was looking unlikely to produce a Yes result.

Now, the official results have come in and the No vote won 50.7 per cent of the votes (down from 53.1 per cent last week). So, Kiwis won't be sparking up any time soon.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Ultimately the difference between Yes and No came down to just 67,662 votes.

The final results also consolidated the country's majority view that euthanasia should be legal. The results indicate 65.1 per cent supported the End of Life Choice Bill.

The result means New Zealand will be just the seventh country in the world to legalise euthanasia.

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The assisted dying law will come into place in November next year. It will mean that terminally ill patients will be given the right to arrange their own death, if they have less than six months left to live.

Some of the rules include needing the professional approval of two doctors, as well as needing to be over the age of 18.

The Labour Party won a landslide victory in the general election on October 17, returning Jacinda Ardern to the top job for a second time.

Speaking after her win, Ardern said: "Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years. We will not take your support for granted.

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"And I can promise you, we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander. This has not been an ordinary election and it's not an ordinary time.

"It's been full of uncertainty and anxiety. And we set out to be an antidote to that. As a nation, we needed a plan for recovery. And so that is what we created."

The final results of the general election have also been revealed, with Labour on 50 per cent of the vote (65 seats), National are on 25.6 per cent (33 seats), Act are on 7.6 per cent (10 seats), the Greens are on 7.9 per cent (10 seats), and the Māori Party with 1.2 per cent (two seats), according to the New Zealand Herald.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Cannabis

Stewart Perrie
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