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Nexus Legalizes Marijuana – Issue 9

Nexus Fixes Everything

Alright, this week Nexus is going to legalize Marijuana. Yep, I said it. We’re going to legalize the weed, the devils lettuce, whatever you want to call it. It’s about time someone in this country stepped up to the plate and did the unthinkable. But is it really the “unthinkable”? No, it’s just something that our out of touch politicians would hate to normalize and let us freely smoke in the comfort of our own homes. However, not to worry, all God-fearing boomers and Politicians in this country have given in, and Nexus has legalized it. Hooray! Now, what are some benefits you may ask? Well, I will list them off below. Starting with decreased crime and strain on our legal system.

Currently in this country for possession of marijuana you can cop a maximum of a 3 month jail term, or a $500 fine. There is usually a presumption against imprisonment though, which shows me that the Police in this country are over throwing people in the cells for possessing a few herbs that make them feel good. According to the Community Law NZ website, It will be rare for the police to bring a charge against you just for possession of a class C drug like cannabis if you haven’t committed any other offenses at the same time. Usually they’re brought in addition with other charges like assault, theft, resisting arrest, etc etc. However the threshold for supply charges sits at 28 grams, or 100 joints. This carries a maximum of 8 years imprisonment, and cultivation of it carries a maximum of 7 years. 

Between 2007 and 2011 there were 12,895 convictions of minor drug offenses by under 25’s in New Zealand. Over that same period of time it cost the taxpayer $59 million, with the average cost being around $18,000. At what point does the cost outweigh the benefit of them being convicted? Fifteen percent of adults used cannabis in the past year, and 8.5 percent, or 330,000 adults, smoke cannabis monthly. Use is higher in Māori, young people and those in more deprived neighborhoods. Obviously the use of any drug at a young age can be harmful to the user, but we have to think if people are going to smoke cannabis no matter what the law is, even though there are punishments against it, is it worth it remaining a crime to be in possession of it?

Across the globe, there has been great evidence of lower crime rates seen from the legalization of the sale of cannabis.

  • In the United States, a 2017 study found that the introduction of the medical marijuana laws caused a reduction in violent crime in states that border Mexico. 
  • Oregon legalized it in 2014 and has seen a 10% decrease in violent crime and a 13% drop in the murder rate
  • The percentage of female prisoners in Uruguay has fallen since the legalization in 2013

So there’s a few points about the crime rates decreasing in areas where cannabis is legal. That’s great, but I think we can improve on this. We have a fairly large neighbor called Australia and drugs over there are a huge no-no. Depending on the state you might get a warning for possession, and be expected to attend a counseling class, or pay a fine. However the maximum jail sentence is usually between 2-3 years. What I’m saying is if we legalized it here we could have a bigger influx of tourists in this country just because they can smoke weed. This is proven in Amsterdam already. Earlier in the year the Mayor of Amsterdam considered banning tourists from buying these types of products in their coffee shops. They haven’t done it and the numbers point to why. 17 million people visit Amsterdam every single year, and the city only has a population of 1.1 million, and to be fair they were struggling to cope with such large amounts of visitors every year. The Mayor cited a survey which revealed that roughly 34% less visitors would make it a destination every year if they couldn’t access these treats. Of the British visitors surveyed, 42% said they would return to Amsterdam less often. Among respondents of all nationalities, 40% said they would no longer use “hashish or weed” on their visits if such a ban was enforced. One in five (22%) said they would let someone else go to the coffee shop, and 18% said they would find another way to buy the drug. What we can take from that is having an area where it is legal can help draw tourists. This country thrives on tourism and it’s one of our biggest industries, given the hit it’s taken lately, why not have another reason to come over and see our country? Take a road trip round the country, enjoy the scenery, stop in Raglan, get blazed while you watch the surfers. Not bad. Anyway, it would give tourists another thing to spend their precious dollars on when they make the voyage over to the land of the long white cloud. Geddit? Ok. 

We could stick an excise tax on it too, this has raked in millions with items such as alcohol and tobacco already. 

  • Washington made the most tax revenue out of any U.S states in 2018, with a haul of $319 million USD.
  • California was close behind at $300 million, with Colorado close behind at $266 million

The best bit about this revenue is what it’s used for. According to Forbes, most of the money was used to support jobs in school construction, drug abuse programs and medical research. In Aurora, Colorado, $900,000 was used towards opening a space for individuals experiencing homelessness. A whole new stream of tax revenue can open up new avenues in which to spend it. Why not use it towards sheltering and feeding our homeless? Or using it towards community facilities that are underfunded. Or anything, there is so much good that can be done with the money that could come from it. A report published this year on Newshub showed that it could bring in $490 million each year, but only if it is good enough to wipe out the black market. But why wouldn’t it, wouldn’t you be willing to pay a bit more for something that has zero chance of being synthetic? I sure as hell would. I think it would do well anyway regardless of whether it completely stamps out the black market or not. 

The last reason is that I would be glad that I wouldn’t have to go through some dodgy bloke to get it. I don’t smoke it, and I’m sure not all drug dealers are dodgy. But synthetics do get sold in this country, and they do put people in hospital. Let’s just have a regulated market so people know what they’re buying and don’t end up smoking tea leaves sprayed with fly spray. How good would that be?

I think I’ve left you with a few good reasons, and Nexus would probably run a pretty decent industry of the legalized smokey grass. When you go to vote in the Cannabis referendum this year, maybe think about a few of these reasons, but also remember to research the negatives as I’ve only listed the positives in this article. 

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