Living the high life could get a whole lot easier: Cannabis could soon be sold over the counter to RECREATIONAL users after more than 90 per cent of Australians supported medical use 

Living the high life could get a whole lot easier: Cannabis could soon be sold over the counter to RECREATIONAL users after more than 90 per cent of Australians supported medical use

By Cait Kelly For Daily Mail Australia

09:59 EDT 04 Aug 2018, updated 10:21 EDT 04 Aug 2018

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• Industry experts are saying recreational cannabis use may soon be legal 

• Roughly 35 per cent of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis 

• By 2028 it’s predicted that most European countries will have legalised it  

Recreational cannabis use may soon even more become common place in Australia, with experts clamming that it is only a matter of time before people can get legally high.

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Polls show that legalisation is slowly becoming more widely supported. Roughly 35 per cent of Australians support adults recreationally using cannabis while a whopping 91 per cent supported medicinal use.

The number has increased by almost 10 per cent since 2004 when only 26.8 per cent of the population said they supported legalisation.

The growing acceptance among Australians follows global trends.

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<img id=”i-f2166322a479256f” class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A94200000578-6026267-Industry_experts_are_saying_recreational_cannabis_use_may_soon_b-a-17_1533391162499.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”423″ alt=”Industry experts are saying recreational cannabis use may soon be legal”/>

Industry experts are saying recreational cannabis use may soon be legal

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<img id=”i-e23cba4e7969439e” class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A98600000578-6026267-Roughly_35_per_cent_of_Australians_support_the_legalisation_of_c-a-20_1533391162709.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”413″ alt=”Roughly 35 per cent of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis”/>

Roughly 35 per cent of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis

Bloomberg predicts that by 2028, the vast majority of European countries will legalise medical cannabis programs and recreational cannabis.

The industry is expected to be valued at $A182 billion.

In the two years since Australia legalised medicinal cannabis, 1059 patients have been treated with the drug.

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Industry stakeholders are watching these figures closely with many comparing them to Canada, where medicinal use has been legal for 18 years and recreational use is about to become legal.

Pharmacist and owner of Health House International Paul Mavor, who brought the first shipment of medicinal cannabis to the country this year, said patient numbers were above where Canada had first sat.

‘In the first year of introducing it, Canada, which has a slightly bigger population to us, only had 150 patients, Australia had 300,’ he told news.com.au.

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<img id=”i-ecee8437861c6871″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/13/4ED1A9D200000578-6026267-Industry_experts_are_comparing_Australia_to_Kannada_where_the_dr-a-3_1533386863803.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”423″ alt=”Industry experts are comparing Australia to Kannada where the drug was just legalised “/>

Industry experts are comparing Australia to Kannada where the drug was just legalised 

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<img id=”i-cb4f06713928942a” class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A9C600000578-6026267-Medicinal_cannabis_is_now_widely_supported_in_Australia-a-18_1533391162524.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”422″ alt=”Medicinal cannabis is now widely supported in Australia “/>

Medicinal cannabis is now widely supported in Australia 

‘Canada is now up 300,000 medical patients since legalising it 18 years ago and now they’re just about to go legal for recreational (adult use) in a few months.’

At the Future of Cannabis seminar at Advertising Week APAC in Sydney on Wednesday, Sharlene Mavor, medical scientist and director of Medical Cannabis Research Australia, was also using the North American country for guidance on a potentate timeline for legalisation here.

She said that while the country needed to normalise it as a pharmaceutical, it would no doubt lead to recreational legalisation.

‘Canada legalised it recreationally once authorities realised the sky didn’t fall in and there were no major social issues.’

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<img id=”i-71d93802ae31dde5″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A94A00000578-6026267-In_the_two_years_since_Australia_legalised_medicinal_cannabis_10-a-19_1533391162682.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”423″ alt=”In the two years since Australia legalised medicinal cannabis, 1059 patients have been treated with the drug”/>

In the two years since Australia legalised medicinal cannabis, 1059 patients have been treated with the drug

In Australia, the movement to make legislative change has begun. In April, The Greens announced they would be adopting a policy to legalise recreational use.

Announcing the policy, leader Richard Di Natale said the ‘war on drugs has failed’ and called for the establishment of an Australian Cannabis Agency that would oversee the supply of cannabis to licensed shops.

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It would follow similar legal guidelines to tobacco and alcohol in that it would only be available to customers over the age of 18, taxed heavily and prohibit advertising of the product.

The policy has support from former Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Mick Palmer.

Global marijuana moguls are also optimistic.

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<img id=”i-3dd1326ea51b6c86″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A96600000578-6026267-Announcing_the_policy_leader_Richard_Di_Natale_pictured_said_the-a-23_1533391163430.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”388″ alt=”Announcing the policy, leader Richard Di Natale (pictured) said the ‘war on drugs has failed'”/>

Announcing the policy, leader Richard Di Natale (pictured) said the ‘war on drugs has failed’

A Four Corners investigation into Australia’s booming medical marijuana industry revealed major players believed it was only a matter of time till the legislation was changed.

Cannabis industry analyst Matthijs Smith, whose investment bank Canaccord Genuity holds stock in one of Australia’s largest medicinal marijuana companies, told the program that legalisation had followed a similar pattern in most countries.

‘It’s been interesting that a number of jurisdictions, such as Canada, Uruguay, and states in the US, once they have made cannabis available for medical purposes, and they’ve seen that that hasn’t resulted in a whole deterioration of society, have become a lot more liberal and contemplated or indeed enacted the recreational use,’ he said.

Currently cannibals is only fully legal in a few places: Uruguay and parts of the United States.

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<img id=”i-491d461f14ba28ed” class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A92A00000578-6026267-The_Greens_policy_has_support_from_former_Australian_Federal_Pol-a-22_1533391163255.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”357″ alt=”The Greens policy has support from former Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Mick Palmer”/>

The Greens policy has support from former Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Mick Palmer

However dozens of countries have relaxed their marijuana laws over the years.

Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Peru and North Korea are just some of the countries that don’t criminalize marijuana use.

Change won’t come overnight.

Greg Hunt, the minister for health, has said the government is firmly against legalisation, labeling cannabis a gateway drug that leads to users trying harder substances such as methamphetamine.

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<img id=”i-fb97e8ce6b9813e2″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/08/04/14/4ED1A93E00000578-6026267-Argentina_Cambodia_Canada_Spain_the_Netherlands_Colombia_Peru_an-a-21_1533391163061.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”436″ alt=”Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Peru and North Korea are just some of the countries that don’t criminalize marijuana use”/>

Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Peru and North Korea are just some of the countries that don’t criminalize marijuana use

‘Our job is to protect the health of Australians,’ he said. ‘This action by the Greens risks the health of Australians.’

But it is likely to come slowly.

The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that marijuana was the most commonly used illegal drug in Australia with 10.4 per cent of people consuming it in the previous 12 months.

‘Community tolerance has increased for cannabis use, with higher proportions of people supporting legalisation and a lower proportion supporting penalties for sale and supply,’ the report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said.

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