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Legalisation of cannabis now ‘inevitable’

Data published in the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey shows that
the proportion of people who believed that possession of cannabis should not be a
criminal offence reached an all-time high of 80 per cent.

The 2019 survey marked the first time that more people supported the legalisation of
cannabis than opposed it. This continued in 2022–2023, with support for legalisation
of cannabis increasing to 45 per cent.

Additionally, 2022–2023 was the first year that the proportion of people supporting
legalisation was higher than the proportion of people supporting increased penalties
for the sale or supply of cannabis.

NSW Legalise Cannabis MP Jeremy Buckingham said the latest survey simply
confirmed that legalisation was now inevitable.

“The legalisation of cannabis has always made sense as a way of blocking one of
the major income streams of organised crime,” Mr Buckingham said.

“It has also always made sense to have a safer, regulated market that doesn’t force
people to access the criminal market and come into contact with a range of drugs of

“Now, legalisation also makes sense politically. The people have spoken – let’s get
on with it.”

Mr Buckingham also pointed to data that showed cannabis use had remained stable
since the ACT decriminalised possession of some amounts of cannabis, use of
cannabis in the home, and growing cannabis plants, for people aged 18 and over.

Despite these changes, use of cannabis in the previous 12 months in the ACT
remained stable.

In 2022–2023, 8.7 per cent or people reported using cannabis in the previous 12
months, consistent with use since 2007 which has ranged between 8.4 per cent and
10.5 per cent. Use of cannabis in the ACT in 2022–2023 was lower than the rest of

“The myth that legalisation will lead to increases in drug use has been busted by the
evidence,” Mr Buckingham said.

“Provided legalisation is handled responsibly, and with suitable safeguards, there is
nothing but upside.”

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