Effects of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme on levels and patterns of cannabis use in South Australia: evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Surveys 1985-1995

Donnelly, Niel, Hall, Wayne and Christie, Paul Effects of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme on levels and patterns of cannabis use in South Australia: evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Surveys 1985-1995. Canberra, ACT Australia: Public Affairs, Parliamentary and Access Branch: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, 1999.


Author Donnelly, Niel
Hall, Wayne
Christie, Paul
Title Effects of the Cannabis Expiation Notice Scheme on levels and patterns of cannabis use in South Australia: evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Surveys 1985-1995
Place of Publication Canberra, ACT Australia
Publisher Public Affairs, Parliamentary and Access Branch: Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care
Publication year 1999
Volume 37
Series National Drug Strategy Research Monograph no. 37
ISBN 0642394229
Start page 1
End page 34
Total number of pages 34
Subjects 11 Medical and Health Sciences
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Aim
To see whether the 1987 Cannabis Expiation Notice (CEN) scheme in South
Australia has produced a greater increase in the prevalence of lifetime and weekly
cannabis use in South Australia than the rest of Australia.

Method

Data from five National Drug Strategy Australian Household drug use surveys for
the period 1985–1995 were analysed. Logistic regression was used to test for
differences in trends in the self-reported prevalence of (1) lifetime cannabis use
and (2) current weekly cannabis use, controlling for age and gender, between
South Australia and the other Australian jurisdictions.

Results

Between 1985 and 1995 the adjusted prevalence rates of lifetime cannabis use
increased in SA from 26 per cent to 36 per cent. There were also significant
increases in Victoria (from 26 per cent to 32 per cent), Tasmania (from 21 per
cent to 33 per cent) and New South Wales (from 26 per cent to 33 per cent). The
increase in South Australia was significantly greater than the average increase
throughout the rest of Australia, but the prohibition states differed in rates of
change, with Victoria and Tasmania having similar rates of increase to South
Australia. There was no statistically significant difference between SA and the
rest of Australia in the rate of increase in weekly cannabis use. The largest
increase in weekly cannabis use occurred in Tasmania between 1991 and 1995
(from 2 per cent to 7 per cent). South Australia did not show a greater rate of
change in lifetime cannabis use among young adults in the 14 to 29 year age
group, the age group which has the highest rates of initiation of cannabis use.

Conclusions

There has been a greater increase in self-reported lifetime cannabis use in South
Australia between 1985 and 1995 than in the average of the other Australian
states and territories. However, it seems unlikely that this increase is due to the
CEN system because: similar increases occurred in Tasmania and Victoria (where
there was no change in the legal status of cannabis use); the rate of increase in
cannabis use among young adults aged 14 to 29 years was not significantly
greater in South Australia than the other jurisdictions; and there was no increase
in the rate of weekly cannabis use in South Australia between 1985 and 1995.

Document type: Book
Collection: School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 28 Aug 2008, 15:15:32 EST