While alcohol and "ice"
are currently at the centre of media and community attention,
cannabis is the drug guaranteed to polarise public opinion.
This weekend has seen the
release of the latest survey of Australians aged 12 years and over
which once again reports a decrease in cannabis use.
Australians use cannabis every week and approximately 300,000 smoke
every day. A steady decline in cannabis use has been reported since
the peak in 1998, where 45 per cent of all adult Australians, and
approaching 70 per cent of 20-29 years, had ever tried cannabis.
Cannabis use amongst
school-based young people in Australia has decreased even more
markedly over the past decade, dropping from 36 per cent of 12-17
year olds ever having used in 1996 to 18 per cent in 2004. It
continues, however, to be the most commonly used illicit drug used by