Researchers have trawled more than 300,000 social media posts ahead of this month’s referendum to find a mostly favourable Kiwi view toward cannabis – at least on Twitter.
Their study, published today in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, found nearly two-thirds of those tweets, collected from over a decade, held a positive view of the drug.
And while the researchers say the number of negative or anti-cannabis tweets had risen over the past few years, the majority of referendum-specific tweets in 2020 were still supportive of legalisation.
A sample of the tweets included in the study offered several humorous examples.
One read: “Bus broke down. Let us smoke some weed!”, while another Twitter user posted: “I’m stoned and am crazy excited for K-fry [KFC].”
Tweets that weren’t so favourable of cannabis argued it carried mental health risks and caused physical problems like “bong lung”.
One person wrote: “Wellington absolutely reeks of weed. It is disgusting.”