Medicinal cannabis campaigners say the Government should act now rather than force campaigners to try for a referendum after another poll showing strong support for a law change.
Results from UMR online and telephone polls showed three quarters of respondents believed patients should have access to medicinal cannabis when prescribed by a doctor.
Seventy five per cent supported it, 12 per cent opposed it and 12 per cent were undecided. Of 1000 people polled in the online poll from July 29 to August 17, 500 were asked the medicinal cannabis question. The margin of error was +/- 4.4 per cent.
The poll was commissioned by Start the Conversation, a medicinal cannabis lobby group. The group includes Helen Kelly, a former CTU president who has been campaigning for medicinal cannabis after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Kelly said the campaign group would use the poll to decide whether to try and force a Citizens Initiated Referendum on the issue during the election in 2017.
"Politicians now have the choice. Force those who are mainly unwell to collect signatures simply so the public will be believed or act quickly and with mercy and fix this mess up so people like me and many others have safe and legal guaranteed access."
Dr Geoff Noller, an independent cannabis policy researcher who is part of Start the Conversation, said the poll showed there was little political risk involved in making a change because New Zealanders were ready for reform.
The poll also showed 61 per cent believed cannabis products should be treated as a herbal remedy when used therapeutically.
In a similar UMR poll in January, 72 per cent supported law reform to allow medicinal cannabis. UMR's clients include the Labour Party.
The Start the Conversation poll follows a poll by National Party pollster Curia, commissioned by the Drug Foundation last month, in which two thirds said they supported the use of cannabis for pain relief for a terminal illness.