Thursday, 26 November 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Coromandel voters decisive on euthanasia and cannabis

Coromandel voters echoed the will of the country on the two big referendum questions posed alongside this year’s general election.

In fact, the Coromandel electorate result was even more definitive than the overall national vote with 71 percent of us saying yes to euthanasia through the End of Life Choice Act compared with the 65 per cent who supported it countrywide. Similarly, the collective no to the legalisation of recreational cannabis was also more emphatic here, with 55 percent of the electorate not convinced by the argument led by the Green Party, significantly more than 51 percent overall which delivered a narrow win for the no campaigners.

The results are likely a reflection of the Peninsula’s large population of seniors with trends across the country showing older New Zealanders typically backed euthanasia but were more likely to oppose the law change on cannabis. A total of 48,200 ballots were cast in the referendums in the Coromandel.

As a result of the vote, the End of Life Choice Act will come into force in November next year and will give people who experience unbearable suffering from a terminal illness the option of legally asking for medical assistance to end their lives. Criteria and stringent safety protocols will be in place with applicants required be aged 18 years or over in order to apply. They must be suffering from a terminal illness that is likely to end their life within six months and be capable of making an informed decision.

The government has ruled out any further action on potential law changes around recreational cannabis for the foreseeable future.

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