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  • Writer's pictureDASA

Weeding through the facts – An overview of cannabis usage in Australia and New Zealand

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in both Australia and New Zealand.

Here are some interesting facts.

In Australia

  • In 2019, 11.6% of the general population had used cannabis in the past 12 months.

  • The average age of the Australian cannabis user in 2019 was 35 years.1

  • Users primarily source their cannabis from a friend (65%) or a dealer (18%).1

  • In January 2020 ACT decriminalized cannabis but it is still illegal.5

  • In December 2021, the average consumption of cannabis in regional Australia exceeded that of the capital cities, with the highest consumption observed in regional NSW, NT and SA.2

  • Looking at the world stage, Australia ranks 6th of the 16 SCORE (Sewage Core Group Europe) countries on cannabis usage.2

In New Zealand

  • During 2020/2021 – 15.3% of adults (aged 15 years and over) had used cannabis in the past 12 months.3

  • 4.5% of New Zealand adults had used at least weekly or more frequently in the last 3 months.3

  • By age 21, approximately 80% of young New Zealanders will have used cannabis, with 10% developing a pattern of heavy, dependent use.4

  • In 2020, New Zealand held a referendum on legalising cannabis. The results of the referendum were that 50.7% of voters were against legalisation and 48.4% were in support.



DASA (Drug and Alcohol Solutions Australia) is proud to be leading the way in workplace drug and alcohol testing services throughout Australia. Whether your need is for workplace drug and workplace alcohol testing, advice on drug and alcohol policy or ideas on how to communicate your workplace expectations, policies and procedures to your staff, DASA can help. We have the experience, technical expertise and people to lead you to the right solution.


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