Half of Australians believe cannabis should be taxed and regulated in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco, according to the latest findings from Essentials Research.
The online survey of 1,150 adults found 50% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposition, while only 26% were opposed to the move.
This fresh polling reflects community sentiment on cannabis legislation in the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which recorded an increase in support for adult use of 41%, up from 35% in 2016. The survey also indicated 74% of Australians believe the consumption of cannabis should not be a criminal offence.
In a coordinated push in June, the Legalise Cannabis Party simultaneously introduced the Regulation of Cannabis for Personal Adult Use Bill 2023 in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, states where it has MPs in the upper house.
Legalise Cannabis Victoria (LCV) MP David Ettershank MP said the latest numbers were a “clear vindication” of the party’s call for reform.
“The Australian population is clearly well ahead of our major political parties and it’s time for those parties to catch up and act,” he said. “Instead of the perpetual criminalisation and marginalisaton of people for cannabis use, Australians want taxation and regulation.”
Fellow LCV MP Rachel Payne added: “What we seek is sensible and meaningful reform to end the criminalisation of people who consume personal-use cannabis. If a majority of voters think the same, isn’t it time our government got on the right side of history by reforming outdated laws, in line with community expectations?”
“The polling is clear, the Australian war on drugs does not work. The cost of prohibition from cannabis-related law enforcement spending takes not only an enormous economic toll, it does nothing for harm minimisation in our community.”