A recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found, for the first time that cannabis use is more acceptable than tobacco use, The Guardian reports. The survey found that 20% of respondents supported regular cannabis use compared to 15% support for regular tobacco use.
Some 78% did not think possession of cannabis for personal use should be a criminal offense, the survey found, but 78% of respondents said they would not use cannabis were it legalized.
The survey found two in five Australians backed broad cannabis legalization, an increase of 16% over the last 10 years, with support as high as 60% in Sydney, 57% in Melbourne, and 47% in Brisbane. In the Australian Capital Territory, where cannabis was decriminalized for adults in 2020, 66% of residents backed the reforms.
The survey found that 85% of Australians supported stricter enforcement of the laws prohibiting supplying minors with tobacco products and seven in 10 respondents said that the use of e-cigarettes should be restricted in public places.
A study published in August 2021 found cannabis use among Australians increased during coronavirus-related lockdowns in the nation.
The Guardian notes that the micro political party, Legalize Cannabis, garnered between 2% and 7% of the Senate vote in the May federal election in most states and the Northern Territory, despite running no advertising during the campaign.
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