Cannabis

Cannabis in Australia – 2022

“More than a third of Australians aged over 14 have used cannabis at least once – 37%, or 7.6 million people. Around 2.4 million Australians used cannabis in 2019, as did 200 million people worldwide.”

A fixture of the Australian drug landscape for over half a century, cannabis is our most widely consumed illicit drug. Despite its prevalence, a lack of reliable data paired with conflicting messages from our government and media mean that community understandings of cannabis remain poor. What are the health risks of cannabis use? How effective is it as a medicine? Is personal use of cannabis still illegal?

Penington Institute is known for producing Australia’s Annual Overdose Report, the authoritative study on overdose in Australia. With Cannabis in Australia, we aim to fill the gap for accurate, up-to-date data on Australian trends, attitudes and approaches relating to cannabis.

In the landscape of psychoactive drugs, cannabis occupies a unique place. Once considered enemy number-one by proponents of the ‘war on drugs’, cannabis is still illegal to possess or use without a medical prescription in Australia, with the limited exception of the ACT. Despite its legal status, cannabis is readily available with more than a third of Australians over the age of 14 admitting to having used it.accurate

“As part of its work to improve the management of drugs by engaging our communities and sharing knowledge, Penington Institute has developed this Cannabis in Australia 2022 report. Using published data and interviews with around 100 experts, we’ve created a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything you wanted to know about cannabis in Australia.”

We are making two versions of the report available. The first version is a report summary, written in plain language with key findings clearly highlighted, ideal for quick reading. The other version is a long-form technical report, which expands on the information in the summary with extra background detail to place the findings in their full context.

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