The latest Herald-DigiPoll survey shows just under a third of those polled thought smoking cannabis should attract a fine but not a criminal conviction, while a fifth went further and said it should be legalised.
Forty-five per cent said it should remain illegal, and 2.6 per cent said they did not know.
Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said: “All the results I’ve seen in New Zealand recently were overwhelmingly opposed to reform.”
While most National Party supporters (53.8 per cent) favoured the status quo, almost 45 per cent supported legalisation or decriminalisation.
The Government last night remained firm in its stance on cannabis.
“We do not think there are any benefits for decriminalising or legalising cannabis, for medicinal purposes or otherwise, which outweigh the harm it causes to society,” said Justice Minister Judith Collins.