Cannabis in Australia

Cannabis is a plant used in Australia for recreational, medicinal and industrial purposes. In 2019, 36% of Australians over the age of fourteen years had used cannabis in their lifetime and 11.6% had used cannabis in the last 12 months.[1]

Australia has one of the highest cannabis prevalence rates in the world.[2]

On 24 February 2016, Australia legalised growing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes at the federal level.[3]

On 12 November 2017, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) made low-THC hemp food legal for human consumption in Australia.[4]

On 25 September 2019, the Australian Capital Territory passed a bill allowing for possession and growth of small amounts of cannabis for personal use as of 31 January 2020, although the laws conflict with federal laws that prohibit recreational use of cannabis and the supply of cannabis and cannabis seeds are not allowed under the changes.[5]

Attitudes towards legalising recreational cannabis in Australia have shifted over the last decade. According to polling by the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) in 2019, more Australians now support legalisation of cannabis than remain opposed; 41% of Australians now support the legalisation of cannabis, 37% remain opposed, and 22% are undecided. There have also been some associated changes in public perceptions about other cannabis-related policies. For example, the majority of Australians aged 14 years and over do not support the possession of cannabis being a criminal offence (74% in 2016 compared with 66% in 2010).[6]

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