MEDIA RELEASE 9 SEPTEMBER 2020
The Say Nope to Dope campaign says that the reports on cannabis legalisation by BERL has admitted that pot shops will be as noticeable in number as fast food outlets, that the black market will continue, and that usage will increase by almost 30% – and especially amongst 20-30 age group.
“BERL is banking on Big Marijuana. It is clear why the government didn’t want this information in the public domain. This is confirmation that Big Marijuana will replace Big Tobacco if cannabis is legalised,” says spokesperson Aaron Ironside.
There are 167 McDonald’s, 83 Burger Kings and 94 KFC stores nationwide at last count, but the BERL report predicts over 400 weed shops around New Zealand.
The report also predicts that overall use will go up from 14% to 18% (a 30% increase). Significantly, there will be increased use for the 20-25 age group (an at-risk group) and a big increase for the 25-30 age group.
The BERL report confirms a Big Marijuana industry, based on an annual tax take alone of $1b-plus annually.
“That’s a massive turnover based on significant use, with little reference to health & mental harm and social costs which will explode with this increased use,” says Mr Ironside.
“If someone wasn’t thinking of voting no in the referendum, this report will confirm they should be. Kiwis don’t care about the fiscal aspect. They care about families, mental health and young people.”