Survey Shows Cannabis Acceptance Is Growing In Australia

More Australians than ever are pro-cannabis.
Survey Shows Cannabis Acceptance Is Growing In Australia

Is cannabis legalization heading “down under”? A new survey suggests that more Australians than ever are ready to take the leap.

The 2019 edition of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, conducted each year by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a government agency, found that 41 percent of Australians support the legalization of cannabis, compared with 37 percent who were opposed.

That makes 2019 the first that more people were in favor of legalization than against it, according to the institute. The survey produced another milestone: for the first time, pot had a higher level of personal approval of regular use by an adult than tobacco. 

“In 2019, alcohol (45%) continued to have the highest level of personal approval of regular adult use than any other drug. For the first time, cannabis had a higher level of approval than tobacco (19.6% compared with 15.4%). The level of approval for cannabis has continued to increase since 2007 (6.6%),” the authors of the study wrote. “Alcohol was the only drug for which the level of approval of regular use by an adult was higher than disapproval (45% compared with 21%). Alcohol, cannabis (54%) and tobacco (61%) had the lowest levels of disapproval, while heroin (96%), inhalants (95%) and meth/amphetamine (95%) had the highest levels of disapproval.”

They continued: “Personal approval of regular drug use was consistently higher among individuals who had used that particular drug recently than among those who had not used the drug in the preceding year or their lifetime. Levels of personal approval varied by drug type, with people who recently used marijuana/cannabis (68%), hallucinogens (65%), GHB (55%) and alcohol (52%) reporting higher levels of approval. On the other hand, people who used methadone or buprenorphine, meth/amphetamine, heroin and inhalants had lower levels of approval (less than 20%).”

Support For Cannabis Law Reform

With regard to legalization of pot, the authors noted that support for an end to prohibition grew six percentage points in the last four years, rising from 35 percent in 2016 to 41 percent last year.

“Fewer people thought that possession of cannabis should be a criminal offence (down from 26% in 2016 to 22% in 2019) or that penalties should be increased for the sale or supply of cannabis (down from 50% to 44%),” they continued. “If cannabis were to be legalised, nearly 4 in 5 (78%) people claimed they would still not use it. However, there was an increase from 2016 to 2019 in the proportion of people who said they would ‘try it’ (7.4% to 9.5%) and ‘use it more often than you do now.”

Australia has long had fairly harsh laws against recreational marijuana use, though the survey and recent policy suggest that a change could be afoot. Last year, the nation’s capital, Canberra, made history in becoming the first Australian city to legalize pot. Marijuana is still banned on the federal level, however, creating a potential situation not unlike the one here in the United States, where several states have defied federal law in passing their own measures legalizing recreational use.

  1. Some simple mistakes here. Canberra is a city in ACT, Australia. Canberra is the seat of Federal Government. ACT is a territory / state. ALL of ACT legalised Cannabis for recreational use 31 Jan 2020, not the city of Canberra. Also Australia federally legalised “Cannabis” in ALL states for medical use in 2016. From 2016 to 2020 anti Cannabis states and federally has changed the definition of Cannabis (much like 10 USA states) where LEGAL Cannabis need not include REAL Cannabis (where REAL Cannabis is 10% THC or higher THC and where ZERO THC is hemp mostly GMO hemp from Canada). Worse in Australia “Cannabis” can be hemp or cannabis or even synthetics, as not coming form a plant at all. A bill pending in the Australia state of NSW (new south wales) fixes all of this and legalises REAL Cannabis for medical use not things called “Cannabis”.

  2. I’m hoping we can get the rest of the way at next election! Be great to see Australia 🇦🇺 become a place of ✌️ and would also be a great job creator too.

  3. I’d like to see it legalised with no restrictions.i just want to see how big I can get one outdoors

  4. I need it to treat Complex Parcial Seizures which started after a blow to the head in 2004. I also need this to treat the unbearable pain, my mother has suffered 24/7 since Jan 2018 after a buther of a surgeon removed her gallbladder. The pain killers she is presently on either doesn’t work or have terrible side effects

  5. Until the new Legal cartel have achieved dominance, any further loosening of public laws will not occur.

  6. The 9.5% of people who say they would try cannabis if it was legalised is surely just the minimum percentage of people who would try it. Legalisation would bring rapid de-stigmatisation, the establishment of quality products and outlets, and enhanced social discussion which would all lead to even more people comfortable with trying it. The cannabis awards are celebrating hemp and cannabis in Australia

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