Around eight per cent of Australians are frequent or occasional users of medicinal cannabis, a survey has found, in results which suggest rising acceptance of its use.
Research among 1,000 Australians revealed evolving attitudes to the drug with 38% saying they know someone who uses medicinal cannabis, rising to 52% among the Gen Z population.
The Medigrowth-commissioned study, conducted by independent consumer insights company Antenna, also found 22% of interviewees considered getting, or did get, a cannabis prescription in the last 12 months, while four out of 10 claimed they would be comfortable telling their employer if they were taking the medicine.
Medigrowth chief executive Adam Guskich said the findings offer further evidence that Australians have “open, transparent and honest conversations about their health and what proven medical alternatives can do for people”.
“Since the pandemic, the conversation has changed on an individual, community and government level, and we now have data to back that up,” he said. “Prescriptions are up, the number of GPs prescribing medical cannabis continues to climb, and there are more and more pathways to prescriptions for patients of all walks of life.”
However, there remains a “large misconception” among politicians who still have outdated views of cannabis, Guskich added.
“While countries and territories around the world continue to advance their offering and research, [demand] for medical cannabis is being driven by the people who need it most: the patients,” he said.
“Hopefully, state and federal government will continue to look at medical cannabis as an opportunity for Australians, rather than hold onto old ideas of it being a dangerous or addictive substance.”