Attitudes towards cannabis and cannabis law change in a New Zealand birth cohort.
N Z Med J. 2020 May 22;133(1515):79-88
Authors: Boden JM, Cleland L, Dhakal B, Horwood LJ
AIMS: Personal cannabis use is common across New Zealand, and an upcoming referendum will enable the public to vote on whether this should be legalised. The present research aimed to examine the attitudes of midlife New Zealand adults on cannabis use and legalisation, and to identify potential predictors of those attitudes.
METHODS: At age 40, 899 participants drawn from the Christchurch Health and Development Study were interviewed about the perceived harmfulness of cannabis use, opinions on legalisation for recreational use and supply, and the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In addition, a range of potential predictors of legislative attitudes were examined.
RESULTS: We identified a wide range of attitudes across the cohort, however the majority tended to hold a neutral view. More than 80% of the cohort expressed support for medicinal cannabis, while 47.8% supported decriminalisation, and 26.8% expressed support for legalisation for recreational use. The strongest predictors of support for legalisation were prior use of cannabis and other drugs, while additional positive predictors included a history of depression, Māori ancestry, parental drug use, novelty seeking and higher educational attainment. Predictors of more negative attitudes were also identified, and included female gender and having dependent children.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide insight into cannabis-related views within the New Zealand context, and may help to predict voting behaviour during the 2020 Cannabis Referendum.
PMID: 32438379 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2