The social supply of cannabis among young people in Australia - Part of an international research collaboration

  • Research program: Harm reduction policy and strategies
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: August 2011
  • Expected end date: August 2014
  • Completion date: October 2015
  • Funded by: NDLERF
  • Lead organisation:

In a number of countries, Social Supply (SS) of illicit drugs, where suppliers broker, facilitate or sell for little or no gain to friends and acquaintances and where the supplier is not considered to be a ‘drug dealer proper’ is of increasing importance to understanding drug markets and drug use. This study comprises the Australian (Perth, Melbourne, Armidale) arm of an international research collaboration investigating the experience of cannabis Social Supply (SS) in a number of countries.In each site 80 regular cannabis users (18-30yrs) including 20 ‘social suppliers’ of the drug will be recruited to participate in an anonymous quantitative and qualitative interview. The convenience sample will be recruited online and through mainstream and street press, flyers, and snowballing. Interviews will include questions about: demographics, experience of cannabis and other drug use, accessing cannabis, selling or brokering access to cannabis, police contact regarding cannabis, and knowledge of cannabis law.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Professor Simon Lenton
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1603
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Chief Investigator

Harm reduction policy and strategies


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Dr Jodie Grigg
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1618
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Project staff

Harm reduction policy and strategies


  • Co-investigator: Monica Barratt, University of New South Wales
  • Co-investigator: John Scott, University of New England
  • Co-investigator: Cary Bennett, University of New England
  • Project staff: Dina Eleftheriadis,

Coomber, R., Moyle, L., Belackova, V., Decorte, T., Hakkarainen, P., Hathaway, A., Laidler, K., J., Lenton, S., Murphy, S., Scott, J., A., Stefunkova, M., van den Ven, K., Vlaeminck, M. and Werse, B. (2018). The burgeoning recognition and accommodation of the social supply of drugs in international criminal justice systems: An eleven-nation comparative overview. International Journal of Drug Policy, 58, pp. 93-103. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.05.010 [RJ1433] View web page

Scott, J., A., Grigg, J., Barratt, M., J. and Lenton, S. (2017). Social capital and cannabis supply. Journal of Sociology, 53, (2), pp. 382-397. DOI: 10.1177/1440783316688342 [RJ1286] View web page

Lenton, S., Grigg, J., Scott, J., A. and Barratt, M., J. (2016). The social supply of cannabis in Australia: Definitional challenges and regulatory possibilities. In Werse, B. and Bernard, C. (eds.) Friendly Business - International Views on Social Supply, Self-Supply and Small-Scale Drug Dealing. Springer VS, Stuttgart. pp. 29-46. [CH207] View web page

Grigg, J., Scott, J., Lenton, S. and Barratt, M., J. (2015). Social supply of cannabis in Australia. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund (NDLERF), Canberra. ISBN: 1449-7476 [T239] View web page Abstract

Lenton, S., Grigg, J., Scott, J., A. and Barratt, M., J. (2015). The social supply of cannabis among young people in Australia. Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice, December, (503), pp. 1-6. [RJ1027] View web page