Did misinformation sway cannabis referendum votes?

Stuff co.nz 1 November 2020
Family First Comment: The Yes campaign harped on that 80 per cent had tried cannabis – [those people] were annoyed to be included in the group that thought cannabis should be legalised. There wasn’t any narrative. Most tried and decided it is not something they wish to use.”
The No-campaign had been funded by “ordinary Kiwis”, he said. “We have not needed to raise any corporate money or overseas money. We didn’t enjoy having to continually rebuff accusations we were US funded. It simply wasn’t true. We didn’t receive a solitary cent.”
Say Nope to Dope spokesperson Aaron Ironside rejected the idea that campaign messages had misinformed the public.

“What [the Kia-Ora Dopy advertisement] was, was artistic,” he said.

“We had to do something that would move people’s hearts. The community hated the dairy becoming an alcohol shop. We simply posed the question: What if that iconic shop becomes a cannabis shop?

“If people didn’t like it becoming a booze shop, they are certainly not going to want it to become a dope shop. I don’t think there is anything misleading.

“I think people most delighted in the potential scandal of it were already yes voters … Much more people were swayed after discovering medicinal cannabis was legal and changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act. We think that’s what swayed people consolidating a No position.”

The no-campaigners had worked hard to be heard and believed it was a “David and Goliath” battle with only two registered referendum No campaigns and nine Yes campaigns, he said.

“Certainly, we were very aware both in terms of the number of messages and number of media pieces that seem to be in favour of the yes position… I think at the end of the day, lobbying either side only touches the periphery. I think most know what they think about these issues.”

The referendum showed it was difficult for a sub-culture to make cannabis use relatable to ordinary Kiwis, he said.

“The Yes campaign harped on that 80 per cent had tried cannabis – [those people] were annoyed to be included in the group that thought cannabis should be legalised. There wasn’t any narrative. Most tried and decided it is not something they wish to use.”

The No-campaign had been funded by “ordinary Kiwis”, he said.

“We have not needed to raise any corporate money or overseas money.

“We didn’t enjoy having to continually rebuff accusations we were US funded. It simply wasn’t true. We didn’t receive a solitary cent.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cannabis-referendum/123239460/did-misinformation-sway-cannabis-referendum-votes

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