Public opinion can be an important determinant of social policy – governments are more likely to pursue policy options when they perceive public opinion to be supportive. In the illicit drugs area public opinion may be a more important factor in contributing to government policy because it is an area that often carries high emotional valence. The aims of this review are threefold:
To achieve these aims, we sought to identify comparable public opinion surveys related to illicit drugs conducted in Australia over a 23 year reference period (1985-2007). Each survey included in the review is described and reviewed. We then examine how public opinion has changed over that time, using a combination of different survey results. The report concludes with a discussion about the overall trends.