According to a Canberra Times article, more than four percent of Australians who have never tried cannabis would do, if lawmakers legalised its use.
The article is based on research by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and UNSW Sydney, which also showed about 2.6 per cent of the overall population are likely to use more cannabis if it was decriminalised.
The study’s findings conflicts with a popular view that the legalisation of cannabis would not increase consumption.
The study also found that even small changes in the number of heavy users of cannabis could have significant effects on demand for treatment and drug-related harms.
Using data from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household survey, the study included Australians aged 14 and over and used random sampling by state and territory, with information drawn from a 2019 survey of about 22,000 people, as well as surveys from 2013 and 2016.
The article quotes the report directly: “The key unanswered question to emerge from this study is the nature of the relationship between cannabis use and psychological stress. There is mounting evidence that long-term use of cannabis has adverse effects on memory and attention, but research on the mental health effects of frequent or long-term cannabis use has so far failed to deliver a consistent set of findings.”
It is possible cannabis use has both positive and negative effects on anxiety, depending on characteristics of the user, the researchers stated.
Credit Chuck Grimmett https://www.flickr.com/photos/cagrimmett/6307374507/