Skip to main content

Majority Support For Cannabis Decriminalization In Victoria, Australia

Melbourne Victoria Australia

A recent survey conducted in Victoria, a state in southeast Australia, found that a majority of participants support modernizing the jurisdiction’s cannabis policies to decriminalize personal cannabis possession and use. Currently, medical cannabis is permitted in Victoria in some instances but recreational cannabis use is prohibited.

According to domestic reporting, the survey involved 1,511 Victorians over 18 years old. Of those surveyed, 54% were in favor of “decriminalising cannabis and creating a regulated market for personal adult use.”

In Victoria, cannabis is currently considered a ‘drug of dependence.’ Offenders who are caught with less than 50 grams of cannabis face a possible fine if it is their first offense and progressively harsher penalties for subsequent offenses.

Of the recent survey participants who did not express support for cannabis reform, only 28.5% indicated that they opposed cannabis policy modernization. A smaller percentage, 17.5%, responded that they were unsure about the policy change proposal. Per The Canberra Times:

The survey, conducted by polling outfit RedBridge on behalf of public health research and drug policy body Penington Institute, shows the highest level of support for regulation over criminalisation in an Australian independent third-party poll so far.

Penington Institute CEO John Ryan, who chaired an independent panel review into the North Richmond supervised injecting room, said the community wants change and the state must listen.

“More and more Victorians reject the criminalisation of cannabis and the harms inherent with this approach,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The Australian Capital Territory decriminalized personal cannabis activity in 2020. Currently in the Australian Capital Territory, people 18 and older can possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or up to 150 grams of ‘fresh cannabis.’

Adults can also cultivate up to two plants per person, with a maximum of four plants per household. Cannabis use in a private residence is permitted, however, cannabis cultivation and consumption are still prohibited in public settings in the Australian Capital Territory.