Does Weed Culture Exist in Australia?

Does Weed Culture Exist in Australia?

Australia has legalised weed in Canberra, ACT. But where is our marijuana culture and did it even exist before 2020? Let's look into Nimbin and Canberra.

While talking with Canberians about legal weed that they can grow and smoke in their own homes, I found that people still wanted more.

They wanted bars, safe and regulated weed products and more options that you see in California or Amsterdam.

Australia does have a weed culture, but people are looking at America, Canada and Europe’s legalisation in envy. People want weed culture to exist and they want more legal and social options. Canberra is now Australia’s weed capital, but the culture can’t grow if marijuana is limited to behind closed doors.

With Canberra replacing Nimbin as the weed capital, what does Australia’s future hold?

Will we see a culture boom with legal weed or will it be business as usual until weed is legalised nationally?

Table of Contents.

A short history of Australia’s weed culture

Australians have smoked weed and used it as a medicinal painkiller since the first fleet that arrived in 1787.

It was only in the 1950s that Australia joined the rest of the world in a drug war that heavily criminalised the plant.

Weed culture has always existed with 1 in 4 Australians admitting to using marijuana at least once, but the negative stigma surrounding cannabis kept it behind closed doors.

Nimbin, New South Wales, has been Australia’s largest free and open pro-marijuana community since the 1970s.

Hosting music festivals, LGBT festivals and aboriginal culture events, Nimbin has been the cultural weed hub that influences decisions being made to legalise the drug today.

Unfortunately with the urbanisation of nearby towns like Byron Bay, police are cracking down on Nimbin’s marijuana activity.

Australians are looking to Canberra as the first step to building a new and open weed culture.

What does our weed culture look like today?

Compared to 20 years ago, Australia all over are pushing for legalisation of marijuana.

The largest presence of Australia’s weed culture is online with websites like OZ Stoners and online Facebook groups.

Without social hubs like Weed Cafes and Dispensaries, it’s hard to grow a strong local cannabis culture.

in 2019 Victoria has become Australia’s pot capital. With more demand for marijuana than NSW, TAS and QLD combined.

Victoria has half of the nation’s legal cannabis industry situating themselves in Victoria, and the largest number (estimated 1500) of state-of-the-art illegal “grow houses”, this state is leading Australia in cannabis culture and it’s having a unique effect on the population.

The recreational cannabis industry in Victoria is booming, but is it creating a lasting culture?

Victorians have a more progressive stance to cannabis reform than the current laws reflect.

The Greens political party conducted a poll in 2018 that found the majority of citizens support the decriminalisation of recreational use of cannabis.

The public perception of tobacco and alcohol becoming more negative has to lead to a growing positive view of marijuana being a healthier and safer alternative, even though it is not currently legal in Melbourne (as of 2019).

Australia's Cannabis Culture
Australia's Cannabis Culture

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSH Survey) conducted in 2016, around the time of Australia’s legalisation of medicinal cannabis, showed that Australians all over largely support the decriminalisation of marijuana and promotes it recreational and medicinal use.

Support of full legislative legalisation of cannabis has been growing ever since, we Australians also demanding a new industry outside of the traditional mining, oil and gas.

A recent 2018 poll surveyed Australia doctors {:target=”_blank”} to better understand their perspective of prescribing medical cannabis as an alternative to other drugs such as opioid derivatives.

The survey found that more than half of Australian GPs are in favour of prescribing medicinal marijuana as an alternative to their patients.

Australia’s cannabis culture is growing with the majority of public opinion of cannabis being largely positive.

Australians between the ages of 18-35 look to North American progressive cannabis legislation and booming industry in envy.

But despite Australians supporting legalisation, politicians and law-makers are stuck in the traditional “war-on-drugs” mindset, where the ‘good’ Australian should being smoking tobacco and drinking beer, and not involving themselves in the recreational use of Marijuana.

South Australian Attorney-General Vickie Chapman demonstrated her being out of touch with the public opinion by quadrupling fines for people found in possession of more than a small quantity of marijuana.

The future of weed culture in Australia

Australian Smoking Cannabis
Australian Smoking Cannabis

Canberra’s legal weed is having a significant impact in their local culture.

Feeling free, safe and comfortable to socialise with weed over beers with your friends.

We can look to Colorado and California in the United States to see how weed culture evolved once marijuana was legalised.

What Australian’s are really looking for is a cultural revolution. People are tired of illegally buying and smoking marijuana.

New Zealand has pushed for a full national vote that will legalise the recreational use, and buying and selling of weed products.

This will open up cafes, bars and other businesses to the weed market. Creating a new social atmosphere for marijuana smokers.

When Australia jumps on board the legal weed train, that’s when we’ll really see a culture and identity built around cannabis.


Australia's Cannabis Art
Australia's Cannabis Art

Australian has never really had a strong weed culture like North America, Canada and Europe.

As a mostly coastal living country, beach life and cannabis have been synonymous.

Pushing back against traditional zero-tolerance policies and fighting for the rights of people has been popularised with our modern generation.

When Australia voted ‘Yes’ for gay rights, it was the public’s decision to do so. When we vote for legalisation of cannabis, it will be the public’s decision to say ‘Yes’.

If we want a weed culture to grow in Australia, then it all starts with legal weed.

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