New Zealand voted to legalise euthanasia but not marijuana in a referendum vote on Friday.
People voted 65% in favour of supporting an End of Life Choice Act that gives people with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying, according to the government”s election results website.
Meanwhile, the marijuana vote, though closer, appeared unlikely to pass with 46% voting in favour and 53% voting against. These provisional results will be finalised on November 6th.
A spokesperson for the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose party recently won in general elections, said that she had voted yes on both referendums.
The End of Life Choice Act, which will take effect next year following the yes vote, allows people who are terminally ill with six months to live to request assisted dying if approved by two doctors.
“I’m just feeling fantastic, it gives me so much love for this country that we have chosen to give those people suffering some real choice, some control and compassion at the end of their life,” MP David Seymour, who was in charge of the end of life choice bill, told New Zealand media.
Marijuana legalisation likely to fail
Chloe Swarbrick, a Green Party MP, said that they needed to wait until the special votes came through at the end of next week.
She said that the referendum was on legalisation and not decriminalisation so that it could address the problem of supply chain.
“What we were talking about here always was getting control of the supply chain and taking it out of the black market putting the issue into the light so we can deal with it like adults,” Swarbrick said, saying she gave the campaign her all.
People have said the laws hurt marginalised communities in particular.
Conservative MP Nick Smith, meanwhile, doubted that there would be a win even after special votes were counted.
He called the provisional results “a common-sense victory for NZ being healthier & safer.”