Cannabis and euthanasia votes bring New Zealand to moral crossroads

By ELIZABETH BEATTIE

HONG KONG — The general election in New Zealand may be over, with popular Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reelected in a landslide, but on two weighty issues the country is still awaiting outcomes.

After impassioned campaigns, preliminary results of referendums on decriminalizing cannabis and legalizing euthanasia will be released by the Electoral Commission on Friday, with the official numbers due Nov. 6.

The latest polling, released on the eve of the Oct. 17 election, suggests the marijuana bill is unlikely to pass while the “assisted dying” legislation has a better chance. A Newshub-Reid Research survey found 55.6% of respondents planned to vote “no” to cannabis, versus 38.3% who intended to tick “yes.”

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