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Term: Cannabis in New Zealand

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The use of cannabis in New Zealand is regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, which makes unauthorised possession of any amount of cannabis a crime. Cannabis is the fourth-most widely used recreational drug in New Zealand, after caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, and the most widely used illicit drug. In 2001 a household survey revealed that 13.4% of New Zealanders aged 15–64 used cannabis. This ranked as the ninth-highest cannabis consumption level in the world.

A dried flowered bud of the Cannabis sativa plant

From 18 December 2018, the Misuse of Drugs Act was amended, allowing for much broader use of medical marijuana, making the drug available to terminally ill patients in the last 12 months of life.

In December 2018, the Labour-led government announced a referendum on the legality of cannabis for personal use, to be held as part of the 2020 general election. This was a condition of the Green Party giving confidence and supply to the Government. In 2020 the referendum was held, asking voters whether they support a new bill which would regulate sale, production and possession of cannabis in New Zealand, in which the 'no' vote won, receiving 50.7% of the vote.

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