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CJB60

Author Craig Jones and Don Weatherburn
Published November 2001
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 60
Subject Mental health; Socioeconomic factors and crime
Keywords cannabis, law enforcement, health, public policy

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Summary

Aim

This report is an exploratory investigation into factors which might encourage regular cannabis users to stop or reduce their consumption of cannabis.

Abstract

Despite the fact that cannabis is prohibited in Australia, more than one million people aged 14 years or older use it at least once a week. These frequent users are more at risk of suffering the harms associated with cannabis use than infrequent users. This report is an exploratory investigation into factors which might encourage regular cannabis users to stop or reduce their consumption of
cannabis. The study results indicate that, while being arrested or imprisoned may discourage cannabis use, such measures are less likely to reduce consumption among frequent cannabis users than among those who use cannabis only infrequently. Frequent cannabis users, on the other hand, are more likely than occasional cannabis users to say that they would seek treatment if one
were available. The study also finds evidence that regular cannabis users would respond to a shortage of cannabis, or an increase in the cost of cannabis, by switching to other drugs such as tobacco.