According to a recent report released by the Australian Institute of health and welfare, in 2019, only 3.9% of medical marijuana users in Australia were obtained through legal prescription, and only 6.8% of people using marijuana for purely medical purposes.
In 2016, Australia amended the narcotic drugs act of 1967 to allow domestic production and sale of medical marijuana. In Australia, there are three types of licenses related to the supply of medicinal cannabis products: medical marijuana cultivation or production license, medical marijuana research license, and medical marijuana drug and product manufacturing license. As of May 2019, the Ministry of health has approved 64 licenses to allow the cultivation, production and manufacture of medical marijuana.
Only 6.8% of people use marijuana purely for medical purposes
In Australia, recreational marijuana is illegal and can only be used for medical purposes, but the report shows that in 2019, 11.7% (about 2.5 million) of people aged 14 and over in Australia used marijuana, of which only 6.8% were for purely medical purposes, and 16.3% said they were sometimes for medical purposes and sometimes for other reasons.
Only 3.9% of medical marijuana users had prescriptions
Obtaining medical marijuana in Australia requires a prescription from a doctor, but the report shows that in 2019, only 3.9% of medical marijuana users have a prescription, of which 1.8% have a doctor’s prescription all the time, and 2.1% have a prescription sometimes and sometimes not.
People aged 60 and over are more likely to use marijuana only for medical purposes
The report shows that older people, especially those aged 60 and older, are most likely to use marijuana only for medical purposes. Of those who use marijuana for purely medical reasons, 43% are over 50 years old. 49% of those who use marijuana for non medical reasons are young people aged 14-29.
53% of medical marijuana users suffer from chronic pain
Medical marijuana is most commonly used in Australia to treat chronic pain, mental illness, high blood pressure and other health problems, according to the report. Among those who use marijuana for purely medical reasons, 53% suffer from chronic pain, 53% suffer from mental illness, 27% suffer from mental distress and 20% suffer from hypertension.
In the global legal cannabis market, pain relief is the main use of medical marijuana. According to the data of promotion partners, about 70% of medical marijuana prescriptions in Germany are used to treat pain; in the first half of 2020, 82% of medical hemp prescriptions in Czech Republic are also used to treat pain.
In addition to marijuana medicine, the voice of legalizing recreational marijuana in Australia has been increasing in the past two years. In September 2019, the local legislature of Canberra, the capital of Australia, approved a measure to allow residents aged 18 and above to hold a small amount of recreational marijuana. Australia has the first regional approval to legalize adult recreational marijuana.
However, in October 2019, the Attorney General of Australia issued a statement saying that the Canberra local entertainment marijuana legalization bill conflicts with federal laws and is invalid.
Several states in Australia are discussing legalizing recreational marijuana, and surveys show that Australian people are increasingly supportive of recreational marijuana. It is likely that Australia, like the United States, will allow some states to legalize recreational marijuana.