The Guardian reports…
Over 40% of Australians believe marijuana should be legalised, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2013, according to new analysis.
Australian researchers have looked into changes in public attitudes towards drug use over time, as measured by responses to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey.
The nationally representative surveys, last conducted in 2019, have been collating data on drug use and attitudes every two to three years since 1985.
A review of the survey data showed that 41.1% of respondents supported the legalisation of cannabis for personal use in 2019 – a significant rise from 25.5% in 2013.
Don Weatherburn, a professor at the University of NSW’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and a co-author of the analysis, said the increase may be linked to growth in marijuana use.
The proportion of people who say they have used cannabis at some point in their lifetime has increased slightly over the last 20 years: 33.5% in 2001 up to 38.1% in 2019.
“It’s gradually become more prevalent, probably because the law has become less draconian,” Weatherburn said. “Most states now have some form of cannabis cautioning scheme, which makes the drug somewhat less stigmatised than it had been back in the 80s and 90s.