Money will ultimately decide Cannabis debate in NZ



In the end, it won’t be the immorality of making heroes like Helen Kelly into criminals to gain pain relieving cannabis, it won’t be the madness of imprisoning people pointlessly and it won’t be about the outrageous search powers it gives the cops, it will be money.

The numbers are clear…

Government could make $150 million annually from taxing cannabis

Decriminalising cannabis would generate money for the Government and ease pressure on New Zealand’s courts according to an informal Treasury report.

The documents obtained under the Official Information Act by Nelson lawyer Sue Grey came from an internal forum at the Treasury “designed to test policy thinking on a range of issues in the public domain,” Finance Minister Bill English said.

The documents reveal Government spends about $400 million annually enforcing prohibition whereas decriminalisation would generate about $150m in revenue from taxing cannabis.

…so not only will it generate $150million per year in revenue, it will save another $400 million in policing.

What could we get for $550million per year?

  • It would cost $100 million to feed every single child in every single poor school in NZ.
  • We could build thousands more state houses each year.
  • Provide  emergency housing for 10 000 more people each year.
  • Make school donation free for all families.

So instead of locking up NZers, empowering organised crime and causing counter productive social problems, we could feed every hungry kid, shelter our most vulnerable and put money back into the pockets of mums and dads sending their kids to school.

It is time we grew up about cannabis and started acting like adults with it.


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  1. “What could we get for $550million per year?
    •It would cost $100 million to feed every single child in every single poor school in NZ.
    •We could build thousands more state houses each year.
    •Provide emergency housing for 10 000 more people each year.
    •Make school donation free for all families.”

    Imagine Bill English’s nightmares coming true; “So you mean, people could smoke weed without fear of the cops AND I’d have no excuse for my policies causing poverty? What on earth will there left for me to be happy about? I guess we could send some troops off to America’s next war…”

  2. But, is it not better to be smug and broke? I mean who cares if cannabis has medical properties? And any way how else are we going to keep those brown people in check?

    (please note all of the above is the lowest form of wit, which I know really is not funny, but how else are you to get through years of pain except with a few cutting remarks)

  3. That $150 million would probably balloon as the government kept on raising the tax every year like it does for cigarettes to discourage people from smoking MJ.

  4. The truth is the country doesn’t have a Cannabis problem, it has a prohibition problem. This Government and others in the past have tried to mislead the public, as to the dangers of using Cannabis.

    I’m not professing overuse itself maybe problematic, but its overwhelmingly clear that prohibition has caused more harm to users and their families than Cannabis itself, ever has.

    If you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in court for Cannabis, you will quickly notice your case is different than anyone around you due to the lack of a victim.

    In every case the crown plays the role of victim, prosecution and judge, so this can only be seen as a crime against the state. However it’s truly a crime perpetrated by the state that creates victims, not protecting them.

  5. Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for Corporate Cannabis.

  6. It does my head in how much money is spent on policing a plant. Every year the cops brag about their big cannabis swoops, but it never makes a dent in the market here at the top of the south.

    The topic was raised with two eleven year old kids yesterday as it was front page headlines in the Nelson Mail, both kids thought it was an enormous waste of money considering NZ has such a problem with alcohol and it’s related cost to society, which they see all the time via TV or real life. The kids are right.

    Maybe by putting it into monetary terms it will be enough for the greedy to open their minds a bit more. As sadly money seems to be more important to some than common sense.

    Harvest has been and gone, and now we will have choppers infecting the skies up the valley once more, this time to drop the hideous 1080 through Kaurangi National Park. It seems the rat plague of biblical proportions as Nick Smith likes to paint it, is an annual event here. One wonders it they will leave the poison unattended in the paddock again as they fly back and forth doing drops. National.. not my future

    • I wonder how low a chopper can hover over your property before it becomes warrantless search/ surveillance? You know, the kind of “unreasonable search and seizure” the Bill of Rights Act supposedly protects us from? Shouldn’t the cops have to get a judicial warrant for each property they want to search from their helicopter, just as I presume they would have to if they were conducting the same search with cars and dogs? A classic example of authorities use “the scourge of drugs” to get away with overzealous policing that they’d be unlikely to in any other context.

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