New Zealand has voted in favor of legalizing euthanasia but could oppose recreational cannabis use after two referendums that were part of this month’s general election, the country’s electoral commission said on Friday.
New Zealanders were asked if they would agree to the End of Life Choice Bill, which allows euthanasia for people with terminal diseases under various conditions and protections.
The commission released preliminary results and said more than 65.2 percent of voters were in favor of legislation that allows euthanasia.
Almost half a million votes remain to be counted and the final results will be released on November 6th.
The “yes” means that New Zealand is joining a small group of nations and territories, including the Netherlands and Canada, that have legalized euthanasia. The government needs to ensure that the legislation is implemented by October 2021.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was re-elected in a landslide, supported the bill as well as the legalization of recreational cannabis.
The Electoral Commission said 53.1 percent of voters opposed this plan, which would only make the country the third Canada and Uruguay to legalize adult drug use.