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More Australians are warming up to cannabis legalization

Australians are becoming pro-cannabis

A new survey reveals that more Australians are becoming pro-cannabis legalization, in a move that confirms the worldwide push for cannabis acceptance.

More Australians ready to take the leap

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019 edition, conducted by the Australian Institute of Health Welfare, revealed that 41 percent of Aussies support cannabis legalization against 37 percent who oppose it.

According to the institute, 2019 now becomes the first year in which more people warmed up to cannabis legalization compared to those who opposed it. Besides, the survey revealed that for the first time, cannabis had a higher level of personal approval of regular use by an adult than tobacco. This exposed another milestone for the cannabis industry.

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 survey revealed.

Growing support for cannabis law reform

Regarding cannabis legalization, the authors of the survey noted that support for decriminalization increased by up to six percent in the last four years, from 35% in 2016 to 41% in 2019.

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%). If cannabis were to be legalized, 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, the report added.

For a long time, Australia has had stringent laws against the recreational use of marijuana. Even medical marijuana remains a tightly regulated field by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Only doctors are allowed to apply to the TGA to supply medical cannabis to approved patients.

However, according to this recent survey, this is set to change. In 2019, Australia’s capital Canberra became the first jurisdiction to legalize cannabis. However, marijuana remains banned on the federal level. 

Today (July 18, 2020) marks the climax of the country’s National Diabetes Week, which started on July 12. Diabetes is one of the conditions that medical cannabis could help alleviate, especially when it comes to distress, anxiety, and burnout.

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