A majority of adults in Australia support legalizing recreational cannabis, according to a new survey conducted at the Australian National University.
Researchers found 43% of Aussies support legalizing cannabis and 32% are opposed to the move. This is basically a flip in popular opinion from 2013, when support was at 34% and 44% were opposed.
The new poll also found 25% of respondents undecided on the issue.
Although no direct action has been taken by lawmakers to push full legalization forward, earlier this year Australia’s Parliament gave overwhelming approval to a bill to legalize medical cannabis, establishing “licensing and permit schemes for the cultivation and production of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal and scientific purposes.”
“This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals,” said Health Minister Sussan Ley after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed the measure into law. “This is the missing piece in a patient’s treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy.”
Activists are hopeful that the nation’s parliament will soon take up the legalization of recreational cannabis, now that they’ve passed legislation to benefit those who can benefit from using the plant as a medicine.