Jacinda Ardern admits to using cannabis in her youth during New Zealand election debate – Evening Standard


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has admitted to smoking cannabis in her youth.

During a live televised national election debate on Wednesday, the Labour Party leader, 40, said she had tried marijuana “a long time ago”.

Ms Ardern is up for re-election when Kiwis go the polls on on October 17.

Pressed by the debate moderator to confirm whether or not she had smoked weed, the Prime Minister said: “Yes I did, a long time ago.”

New Zealand is set to see a cannabis referendum later this year (AFP/Getty Images)

Smoking cannabis is currently illegal in New Zealand, but the country is to go to the polls on a long-awaited Cannabis Referendum next month.

The debate has split the country. If the referendum passes, the country will follow American states such as California in making the recreational use of marijuana legal.

The country already allows the use of medical marijuana, with a doctor’s prescription.

Ms Ardern has said she will only reveal which way she voted on the referendum after the election.

“I made a clear decision that I want the public of New Zealand to decide this and I want this not to be about politics,” she said

Her opponent, Conservative party leader, Judith Collins, has said she would vote against the legalisation of cannabis.

The politician is widely seen as likely to win a second term off the back of her administration’s success at battling the coronavirus.

New Zealand has had 25 coronavirus related deaths, among the lowest in the world.

This article originally appeared here in https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/jacinda-arden-cannabis-a4560066.html

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