In Australia, over 97 percent of young people support the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, according to a lengthy public consultation process conducted by the Greens Party about their bill proposal.
In a study involving 8,916 participants, mainly young people, unprecedented support was shown for the country’s first-ever cannabis legalization proposal for adults.
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Worldwide Legalization Wave Reaches Australia
The legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Australia has been long anticipated, considering the wave of countries in North America and Europe that have adopted regulatory frameworks aimed at cannabis law liberalization.
Now, thanks to the Greens’ detailed report, we know this is something people – especially the youth – deeply desire.
What’s in the Report?
The Greens have drafted a bill to legalize recreational cannabis for adults, which they plan to present for consideration in the Federal Parliament in the coming months. This came after Senator Shoebridge – on behalf of the Greens – found out that national-scale legalization is constitutionally feasible.
Instead of waiting for individual states and territories to implement their cannabis laws, the Greens aim to create a nationwide project. To boost its popularity, they conducted a study among a large group of young people, cannabis users, and those wanting to know more about the proposal. The bill, they say, will create a market “from scratch” and is estimated to generate 28 billion dollars in tax revenues in its first 9 years.
Senator Shoebridge’s Passion for Reform in Australia
Senator Shoebridge is, of course, passionate about cannabis law reform. He envisions a society where young people don’t have to fear being arrested for possessing a small amount of cannabis.
“Imagine being able to attend a music festival without worrying about a line of drug dogs checking you out. Having a joint in your pocket and not fearing police arresting, searching, and dragging you into the justice system. To me, this is the primary way of harm reduction,” Shoebridge told Junkee.
What Does the Report Say About Cannabis Legalization in Australia?
As mentioned, the Greens conducted a broad public survey involving 8,916 participants – mainly young people – to gauge support for the cannabis legalization bill and how best to approach significant issues like home cultivation, advertising, tax rates, and police action. Here are some key findings from the report and survey:
People Want THC Gummies
Contrary to popular belief, which suggests most cannabis users prefer smoking, this doesn’t hold in Australia. The most popular consumption method was edibles such as gummies, truffles, or cookies. In fact, 82.08 percent of respondents stated these as their preferred consumption methods. Joints remained popular at 69.1 percent. THC oil was also relatively high, ranking at 65.19 percent.
People Want to Grow Their Own Cannabis
According to the report, 53.95 percent of respondents wanted the ability to cultivate cannabis at home, with 24.34 percent saying they would consider it.
Senator Shoebridge told Junkee that many respondents found loopholes in their bill – which is partly why the Greens wanted broad public consultations – where home growers could be fined if they produced THC-containing food. Consequently, the report stated that the Greens would “amend the bill to clearly allow people to make products like brownies or gummies at home for personal use.” The report also noted that the bill would “explicitly require that cannabis grown at home not be cultivated in publicly accessible places.”
The report also noted a majority (57.18 percent) of support for a limit of six cannabis plants per household, not per individual.
People Want Coffee Shops and Cannabis Stores
Australians seem largely in favor of Amsterdam-like coffee shops.
Of the respondents, 68.61 percent said they’d prefer to buy and consume products in a coffee shop, with 21.06 percent opting for takeaway. In terms of purchase methods, licensed stores were favored by 85.31 percent, and a significant number (75.86 percent) chose a cannabis club.
Alternatively, there was strong support for coffee shops, stores, and cannabis clubs to sell online. 88.17 percent of respondents supported online cannabis product sales, with 3.91 percent “strongly opposed.” The Greens noted in the report that this reflects how alcohol and tobacco products are available for online purchase, so it makes sense for cannabis to have the same availability if legalized.
Quality Control and Regulation
Arguably the most crucial issue in legalization discussions is quality regulation. Only 21.98 percent of the survey respondents said they always know what’s in the cannabis they purchase. On the flip side, 77.91 percent said they’ve had “bad experiences in the past” or felt the quality of their purchases was a “gamble.”
To neutralize this “gamble”, the Greens proposed quality control and transparent product labeling indicating potency levels. They also suggest establishing a National Cannabis Agency in Australia, which would enforce labeling requirements on cannabis. These would include safety and dosage information, chemical composition, cultivation conditions, and other key indicators.
A Gram Will Cost About 13 Dollars
David Shoebridge and the Greens consulted with the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) to estimate a sale price of 13 dollars per gram.
When surveyed whether this aligns with what they currently pay, 23.85 percent said yes. 26.03 percent said they pay more, while 15.55 percent pay less.
A significant portion of support for cannabis legalization in Australia ties to a desire for reduced police and justice system interference. The Greens’ proposed bill includes
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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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