(ed: i have long supported the uruguayan-model of/for cannabis legalisation..and would urge the new zealand government to follow/use this option..
uruguay have a state-controlled model – where the state licences growers etc. – and sets the price of the end-product.
the latter dictate instituted purely to drive organised crime out of the business – by setting a price so low for authorised users that there is no profit-margin left for them..
an added plus is purity/guaranteed-quality of end-product – no more fears of nasty pesticides etc polluting this medicine..
i would caution against the full-blown commercialisation of cannabis as per colorado etc. and would note that the uruguayan-model ‘works’ on all levels..
and of course allowing easy access to cannabis would directly address one of the major health issues in new zealand – namely the health-outcomes/costs from excessive consumption of alcohol (esp. amongst older/white new zealanders) – as many problem-drinkers would switch to pot (a much ‘nicer’/healthier stone than booze)..if they only could..
and that would be reason number 53 for the new zealand government to follow the cannabis-trail so clearly blazed by uruguay..eh..?
if commonsense were to be the dictate..)
‘On the street 25 grams of marijuana would cost you 3,000 pesos – that’s about $100 for something with probably a large amount of pesticide – seeds and stems’ says Luciano – a young buyer who is next in line.
‘But here the same amount would cost you only $30 and it comes in guaranteed premium quality thermosealed 5g packs’.
In July this year tiny Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise the sale of marijuana across its entire territory.
‘The most important thing has been the change of paradigm’ says Gastón Rodríguez Lepera – shareholder in Symbiosis – one of the two private firms producing cannabis for the government’s Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis.
‘Uruguay dived in at the deep end without too much international support.
They said it wouldn’t work.
Well it’s working now’.
With a population of only 3.4 million – squeezed in between its two giant South American neighbours Brazil and Argentina (population 208 million and 43 million respectively) – Uruguay has long been at the forefront of liberal policies not only in South America but worldwide.