Recreational Cannabis in Australia

What is recreational cannabis

Recreational cannabis users consume the drug for leisure purposes. Such users have a number of ways to consume cannabis, and the most popular is by smoking it. However, there are other ways, and the four main cannabis consumption methods are:

  • Inhalation
  • Oral
  • Sublingual, and
  • Topical

Other cannabis users mainly use the drug for its medicinal properties. Cannabis has been known to be very effective against several health conditions, ranging from chronic pain to epileptic seizures, side effects of cancer treatments and beyond.

Recreational cannabis users are mostly interested in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the plant’s property that’s responsible for its psychoactive effects - that high feeling. Today, with the various strains of cannabis available, recreational users choose their favorites based on the type of psychoactive effects they desire.

The medical cannabis community, on the other hand, mostly advocates for CBD (Cannabidiol), a highly medicinal cannabis property that lacks psychoactive effects. While some medical cannabis users still go for cannabis products with THC, CBD extracts and products have gained popularity as the go-to substance for the medical cannabis community.

Where is recreational cannabis legal?

The global cannabis buzz has picked up steam over the years. Once vilified as a dangerous drug, several countries all over the world now classify it as legal, or have decriminalized its use.

Most of the sudden change of heart has to do with the major shift in public opinion where the drug is concerned. Another significant factor is the medicinal properties found in the plant, which have led countries to accept its use and discard negative views.

But while the medical cannabis discoveries have helped the cause, recreational cannabis, too, is becoming widely accepted around the globe. Here’s a look at where recreational cannabis is legal:

  • Uruguay
  • Canada
  • South Africa (Court decision)
  • Mexico (Court decision, not yet legislated)
  • Several states in the United States of America

cannabis around the world

Cannabis is growing increasingly accepted around the world, with many nations legalising the drug for either medical or recreational use. src

And more countries are considering legalising recreational cannabis as well, including New Zealand, which will hold a referendum vote on the question in September of this year.

Many European countries have also decrimanlised recreational cannabis, doing away with jail and prison terms for those caught with the drug. Instead, educational programs, rehab, warnings, and fines have been adopted in place of criminal punishment.

Legal status of recreational cannabis in Australia

In Australia, the cannabis landscape isn’t that much different. Here, too, acceptance for recreational cannabis use has increased over the years. In fact, the latest National Drug Strategy Household survey shows that the majority of Australians now support legalising recreational cannabis.

support-of-legalising-recreational-cannabis

Majority of Australians (41%) now support legalising recreational cannabis, according to National Drug Strategy Household survey. src

In 2016, Australia legalised medical cannabis. However, recreational cannabis use still remains illegal on the federal level.

But the ACT took a bold step last year when it enacted legislation to legalise recreational cannabis use to an extent. The law went into effect on 31 January of this year, and it allows Canberrans 18 years and over to:

  • Possess up to 50 grams of cannabis, and
  • Cultivate up to 2 plants of marijuana, or 4 plants per household

Although cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in all other states and on the federal level, many of those states have decriminalised the drug. That is, getting caught will only land you a warning, fine, or stint in an educational program.

Summing up

While recreational cannabis has been decriminalised in many parts of Australia, remains it is still illegal on the federal level. This means that getting caught by federal authorities while possessing or using marijuana without a prescription can get you prosecuted, even in the ACT where the drug has been legalised.

It is always best to stay up to date with the laws of your state or territory. The same applies if you intend to travel to another state or territory. Possessing cannabis can get you a fine or educational program in one area, and land you in jail in another.