29 February 2024, 3:19pm

Legalise Cannabis Victoria welcomes the news that 80% of Australians believe the possession of cannabis should not be a criminal offence.  

The latest figures published today in the 2022-2023 National Drug Strategy Household Survey send a clear message that Australians accept the need for cannabis law reform. 

If there’s one thing the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey tells us, it’s that prohibition does not work – more people are consuming cannabis, and that’s not going to change.  

The war on drugs has failed in every corner of our community where people continue to be impacted by criminalisation and the absence of sensible, public health promotion and harm minimisation programs.

While public opinion has shifted dramatically, the war on drugs has continued to rage. The AIHW data proves that the Australian population supports an entirely different approach to the use of cannabis: 

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%”. 

We need a health-led response that ensures people are safe when consuming all drugs. This data reflects a significant cultural shift in Australian’s attitudes towards drugs – for the first time, support for legalisation of cannabis is greater than an increased criminal penalty.  

Quotes attributable to Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP, Rachel Payne: 

“We have the facts, now the government needs to listen. People of every age and gender are consuming more drugs every year and they don’t want to be penalised. The ‘tough on drugs’ approach has never worked, and it certainly won’t work now – it’s time for change.” 

“The data is clear; we need a health-led response to drug use in Victoria. To keep people out of the prison system and out of hospital beds we need the government to come to the table and seriously discuss progressive drug law reform.” 

Quotes attributable to Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP, David Ettershank: 

“After 96 years of failed cannabis prohibition in Victoria, it’s time for the Allan Government to catch up with the overwhelming majority of the state and reform these ridiculous laws.” 

“Why are we still destroying the lives of over 9,000 Victorians a year, who are charged with the personal possession of a small quantity of cannabis?  This is a stupid waste of police and court resources and clearly out of touch with community expectations.” 

“We urge this government to take heed of the public’s support for cannabis and bring reform in line with the overwhelming public support we’ve seen in this survey.” 

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