Media can’t figure out that social and health costs exceed tax benefits – Duh!

By July 26, 2016 Recent News

Editorial: Numbers on cannabis speak for themselves
NZ Herald 23 July 2016
Family First Comment: So let’s get this straight – the tax benefits might be $500m. But the social costs of drug-related harms and addiction (and of course increased levels of these because of increased use when legalised) are a significant portion of $1.8b. But the media still can’t figure out why the government is (correctly) saying Nope to Dope!

Legal cannabis could collect $150 million a year but Bill English isn’t pursuing it
Stuff 23 July 2016

The advocates of decriminalising cannabis now have an economic case to press. A Treasury official, in a document prepared for a brainstorming session, suggested the Government could save more than $500 million a year legalising the popular drug.

The report, intended for internal use but seemingly based on robust calculations, suggested tax from a legal cannabis industry could be worth $150m, with annual savings of $400m from lower policing costs.


Despite these trends, there would seem to be limited political appetite for New Zealand to open the kind of recreational dope shop found in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. There is good evidence to support this cautious approach.

The New Zealand Drug Harm Index, compiled by the Ministry of Health, estimates the social cost of drug-related harms and intervention costs in 2014/15 as $1.8b. Cannabis contributes to this cost, given that the most recent survey found 11 per cent of adults over 15 reported using the drug in 2012/13.

Users report harmful impacts on work and study. A minority have noted learning problems, and some consumers acknowledge the drug has a harmful effect on their mental health.