In this month’s referendum, after New Zealand citizens voted in favor of euthanasia by an overwhelming majority, New Zealand will join a handful of countries that have legalized euthanasia.
According to preliminary results released on Friday, the second round of voting on the October 17 federal election will make the legalization of recreational marijuana use fail.
Supporters of cannabis measures were frustrated with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who refused to take a stand on legalization before the election and only revealed on Friday that she had voted for the bill.
The voting issue was supported by both parties. In the election, her main opponent was Judith Collins of the center-right Kuomintang, and she also expressed support. Parliament passed a bill to legalize euthanasia last year, although at least 50% of the referendum must be supported to approve the bill.
Now, starting from November 6 next year, doctors will be able to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who may end their lives within six months.
In order to qualify, the patient must continue to have a significant decline in physical ability and experience “unrelievable and unbearable pain.” They must voluntarily request the procedure and show that they can make an informed decision. The two doctors will have to sign the decision.
The MP who sponsored the bill, David Seymour, expressed support for the Congressional celebrations held on Friday. He said: “It is a beautiful day to be a kiwi.” He added that this vote made “New Zealand a friendlier , A more compassionate, more humane society.”
Euthanasia is legal in five other countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia. With the assistance of doctors, doctors provide patients with means of suicide, which is legal. Some US states and Victoria in Australia have legalized assisted deaths.
Similarly, for marijuana, only a few countries have legalized its recreational use, although some countries have legalized it.
In New Zealand, the voting system requires voters not only to approve the general principles of legalization, but also to approve specific regulations for establishing a legal market. 53% of voters opposed this measure, while 46% voted for it.
Unlike the euthanasia vote, the marijuana referendum is not binding, but Attorney General Andrew Little said on Friday that the government will abandon its efforts to legalize or decriminalize the drug.
Supporters of marijuana legalization say they believe that if Ms. Ardern announces her support, her results may change. Ms. Ardern admitted in a debate on September 30 that she had used the drug “long ago.”
Richard Shaw, a professor of political science at Massey University, said the seven-point gap is likely to be “if the prime minister shows up in public, we now know that she will vote on her own, it will become closer” .
He said, especially on the Internet, “she has a certain degree of dissatisfaction, frustration and anger, which shows that she now has this position, and it is not clear why she did not hold this position before the election.
Marta Rychert, a drug policy researcher at Massey University, said New Zealand has traditionally taken a conservative approach to drugs-in legislation, if not in practice. She said this result “shows that it is difficult to gain public support for radical cannabis law reform.”
Dr. Rychert added that the information used by supporters focused on the health and well-being of New Zealanders, and its effectiveness may not be as effective as the economic advocacy used by advocates in some states in the United States.
The New Zealand Drug Foundation said New Zealand must still take action to take punitive measures against the disproportionate use of drugs against young people and indigenous Maori.
Tuari Potiki, the chairman of the organization, said in a statement: “Although the majority of New Zealanders did not vote for the proposed legalization model, the debate has shown that the public clearly wants some form of legal reform. “
In the referendum, there are 500,000 “special votes” still to be counted, and the official results will not be announced until November 6. But Little said the result was “very unlikely” to be overthrown.