The Guardian: Australia spends billions ‘failing to police’ cannabis that earns black market $25bn a year, Greens say

Leader of the Greens points out the blindingly obvious to the blind…..

Australia’s cannabis industry could be earning the black market $25bn a year and, rather than policing it, we could be gaining revenue from it by legalising it, Greens senator David Shoebridge has said.

“Law enforcement is spending billions of public dollars failing to police cannabis, and the opportunity here is to turn that all on its head by legalising it,” he said.

In answer to a question from Shoebridge during Senate estimates on how much cannabis Australians consumed, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (Acic) provided data from the nation’s wastewater which found 14.6 kilograms of THC (the psychoactive compound found in cannabis) per thousand people a year.

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates the average street price of ganja to be $13.40 a gram. Acic’s wastewater data is extrapolated across the entire population, and using the same methodology, as well as a higher-end estimate of how much THC was in the average cannabis haul, Shoebridge and his team arrived at the $25bn figure.

“These numbers reinforce the analysis we received from the Parliamentary Budget Office that legalising cannabis can bring in $28 billion in public revenue in the first decade,” Shoebridge said.

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