Following yesterday’s discussion on the numbers behind drug use in Australia (spurred on by the constant debate around pill-testing at music festivals), readers took the opportunity to fill in some gaps. Elsewhere, some readers weren’t ready to let the Nationals off the hook for the Murray-Darling fish kill, and we received some support for our idea to nationalise Australian sporting leagues.
Laurie Patton writes: Forty years ago NSW attorney-general Frank Walker called for decriminalisation of marijuana (back then much less potent than today’s product), arguing that making it illegal simply created a supply chain back to dealers who’d market more dangerous drugs. Guess what happened?
John Ransley writes: Very useful article, but “recent use” and “use in the last 12 months” don’t give a full picture. The 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey don’t seem too interested in frequency, but there is this:
Frequency of use
While cocaine and ecstasy were used by more people than methamphetamines in the previous 12 months, they were used much less frequently. For example, in 2016:
- The majority of people using cocaine and ecstasy only used it once or twice a year (64% and 51% respectively) and only 2–3% use it at least once a week.
- Cannabis and meth/amphetamine users were much more likely to use the drug on a regular basis with 36% and 20% (respectively) using it as often as weekly.