Research Shows Rising Number Of Australians In Favor Of Legal Cannabis

New data from the Australian market research company Roy Morgan Research is showing that a growing number of Australians support the legalization of cannabis.

Research results are derived from the Roy Morgan Single Source Survey conducted via in-person interviews with 50,000 Australians in their homes each year.

According to the research, the percentage of Australians who support cannabis legalization has risen from 33 percent to 42 percent in the past four years, and the number those who want marijuana to remain illegal has dropped from 56 percent to 49 percent.

Legalization support has also risen in the 25 to 34 age range from 34 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in 2019.

Roy Morgan reports that Australians between the ages of 18 and 34 years old are the mostly likely to support legalization and represent the segment of the population that has shifted its opinion the most over the past four years.

Only 36 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds supported cannabis legalization in 2015 as opposed to the 50 percent that favor it now.

Support for legalization among 25 to 34-year-olds rose from 34 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in 2019.

In September, lawmakers in the Australian capital city of Canberra passed legislation to legalize cannabis use by adults over the age of 18, making it the first city in the country to do so.

“The ACT Legislative Assembly’s decision to legalise the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis has brought Australia’s laws surrounding marijuana firmly back into the national spotlight,” says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “The decision certainly reflects the evolving mood of the ACT electorate: 47% of ACT residents want to see marijuana legalised—up 14% points from 2015 and a higher level of support for legalisation than in any of Australia’s six States. At 40%, those ACT residents who don’t support the legalisation of marijuana are in the minority.”

Levine says that the evolving attitudes toward cannabis use in Australia mirror legislative changes in the United States where marijuana is legal for adult use in 11 states and medicinal use in 33.

But even with the shift in public opinion, opposition to cannabis legalization in Australia remains with only 26 percent of 13-17-year-olds and 33 percent of people over the age of 65 being in favor of legal marijuana.