Cannabis is a drug that originates from the plant, cannabis sativa. It contains an active ingredient called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, found on the flowering tops and upper leaves in the female plants. Cannabis comes in the forms of marijuana, sinsemilla, hashish, hashish oil, and hemp. Cannabis originated in Central Asia and can be used for medicine, ship sails, ropes and cloth. Cannabis is an illicit drug, which can be smoked or eaten to affect an individual's mood or state. Australian Medical Association (2006) stated that in 2004, cannabis was the most used drug in Australia. .
Australia along with many other countries, it is a criminal offence to grow, sell or possess cannabis. Cannabis is illegal due to many reasons such as addiction, links with other drugs, health and wellbeing of individuals, and risk to society (Hall, 1997). Society often portrays that individuals become addicted to the substance therefore becoming more aggressive and having psychotic behaviors, which lead to criminal activities. Dennis and White (1999) found that opponents of legalizing cannabis argue that addictive drugs were illegal due to the fact they harm the individual and society, particularly adolescents. Lenton and Farringdon (2005) conducted a survey amongst students aged 12-17 years verifying that cannabis is the most commonly used drug. This one concern of why people are against the legalization of cannabis in Australia. .
There are just as many advantages to disadvantages of legalizing cannabis in Australia. Some advantages to legalising cannabis would be that it would benefit the country and government, as they would make money on tax, which would benefit the economy. Similar to the higher tax on alcohol, if cannabis was to be legalized it should have higher tax as well. Cannabis is an organic plant as compared to other drugs such as cocaine or heroin, which are made with a variety of harmful chemicals.