Australian voters are more for than against decriminalising cannabis and legalising cannabis plants at home for personal use, as proposed by a bill introduced to NSW parliament.
New YouGov data collected in December from 1,555 participants found 50 per cent of Australians supported legalising growing cannabis plants for personal use, 31 per cent opposed and 19 per cent were undecided.
It also found 54 per cent were in favour of decriminalising cannabis, 33 per cent opposed and 12 per cent were on the fence.
The highest majorities of support came from Greens voters and people aged under 35.
The survey asked people for their views on a bill that was introduced to the three states’ parliaments in the final sitting week of 2023 and was jointly drafted by the Legalise Cannabis Party, the Animal Justice Party and the Greens.
Under the proposal, NSW residents would be allowed to possess up to 50g of dried cannabis, as well as grow up to six plants at home and gift plants to their friends and family – as long as they don’t sell anything.
Legal Cannabis MP Jeremy Buckingham, who introduced the bill, hoped the reforms would help reduce the number of First Nations people charged under drug possession laws he said were racist.
“In a lot of instances, this is a ‘crime’ that is the first interaction First Nations people have with police,” he said in parliament.
And Government data has revealed First Nations people are 10 times more likely to have a cannabis-related interaction with police than non-First Nations people. The data also showed that between 2020 and 2022, 54,174 people were caught by police with cannabis, and 19,232 of those people were Indigenous.
YouGov’s Director of Polling, Amir Daftari said this survey results showed the majority of Australian voters supported both propositions and the support was consistent across states and age groups.
“Overall, this is good news for advocates of the cannabis legalisation bill in NSW with the public being more in favour, than against, the proposed bill.”