Cannabis in Victoria - A billion dollar industry
Colorado a small state nestled in the Rocky Mountains in the U.S.A is the perfect model for Victoria to implement the legalisation of recreational & medical cannabis properly. Both Victoria & Colorado have 1 major city & a population of just under 6 million people. In just the first year cannabis was legal in Colorado both the medical & recreational markets created $700M each, while the local state government made $135M in cannabis taxes.
This new booming market has moved the money from the hands of the black market & into the pockets of regular mums & dads that are starting up small businesses distributing cannabis, creating thousands of jobs & boosting tourism numbers as people from all over the U.S & the world travel there solely for the legal high.
Despite fears from those who opposed the legisation in Colorado the number of road fatalaties & hospital patients has stayed on a steady rise with no spike associated with the time cannabis became legal. Teenage cannabis use is a major worry for those against legal cannabis but the statistics on that have remained unchanged as well, with the sale of recreational cannabis reserved for those over the age of 21.
Not only would legalisation give thousands of people access to something they are currently buying through the black market, it would free up our already overworked courts & overcrowded prisons. In the latest crime statistics from Victoria Police in 2013/2014 there were 7260 cannabis possession charges laid, that is hours upon hours of time Victorian taxpayers are paying for a judge, legal aid solicitor & police just to hand out a small fine or community service in most cases.
If cannabis was to be legalised in Victoria for recreational use the government should impose advertising limitations in a similar fashion to alcohol, cigarettes & gambling. Like all vices too much of a good thing can be detrimental to your life & there are those in society, like our youth who are susceptible to flashy advertising. Prohibition is failing miserably in Victoria & there are plenty of unemployed people out there who could be have a full time job, be it on farms picking & sorting cannabis or working in the retail market selling a safe & regulated product to the public.