For the love of Christ, someone give this clown a smoke
A sterling effort today by the mainstream media in trying to explore the true economic and social costs of cannabis by asking what happens if we go beyond medicinal and decriminalisation to full legalisation with a taxed and regulated cannabis market…
The economic argument
Economists sniffed out the potential gains long ago. More than 500 top boffins – including the American, Nobel laureate economist, Milton Friedman – signed a letter calling for legalisation in the United States back in 2005.
The combination of cost savings and tax income would generate a fortune, they said.
The crime bill
While the US led the costly war on drugs, prohibition has also come at a price in New Zealand. A new Drug Harm Index (DHI) released this month found police were spending about $90 million a year on cannabis-related “interventions”, with another $109m of costs in the courts and justice system.
Back in 2011, the Law Commission recommended legalising medicinal cannabis, and less punitive measures for recreational use.
Among other anomalies in the current law, possession of a bong (a glass pipe used for smoking) is technically punishable by a year in jail. Based on prison costs of $250 a day, that would total $90,000 of taxpayer dollars, or funding for six breast cancer surgeries.
…half a billion dollars – half of that from taxation and the other half in saved costs from allowing the Police to rampage through our communities.
So why haven’t we been able to progress things past Peter Dunne’s weasel words and the total lack of political leadership on this issue? Because of the filthy lies the NZ Police have spread to justify their powers of the most widely used illegal drugs in NZ…
The headline figures from a police intelligence report caught Steve Dawson’s attention. Cannabis was causing 2000 hospital admissions a year costing more than $30 million, the report claimed, and was the “cornerstone” of drug harm in this country.
“I’d never met any of the 2000 a year who were clogging up the hospitals – you know, the stoned wandering the streets and A&Es saying ‘help me!’ – so I thought I’d look into it.”
A “practical sort of person” with a degree in sociology from Canterbury University, Dawson would spend the better part of the next five years battling red tape and Government stalling tactics in his efforts to find the truth.
…these lying scumbag Police have purposely misrepresented the harm from cannabis so that they get to keep their access point into the lives of a huge swathe of NZ.
A regulated and taxed cannabis market would do more for economic growth and social cohesion than a thousand new bloody dairy farms. This is a cash crop waiting to benefit civil society while eroding the power of organised crime.
It is high time we stopped these moral hypocrites from ruining the lives of so many and become adults in this debate. Decriminalisation isn’t enough to regulate things and medicinal cannabis without regulation makes NZ dependent on pharmaceutical products.
The liars of authority have had their day, it’s time for the next generation to cast aside the ignorance of the system and demand reform now.