NSW police 2020 cannabis seizures

Australian police seize $203 million of cannabis in 2020 despite records levels of consumption

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The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission revealed in their most recent National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program that Australians have consumed record levels of cannabis in 2020 – despite the vast efforts of police seizing more than $203 million worth of cannabis throughout the year.

The contrasting figures show just how poorly the government is fighting the war on cannabis.

Determined to keep cannabis in prohibition, most state governments still show no signs of legalising the drug. Except for the Australian Capital Territory which legalised recreational use early in 2020 – but the laws are such that buying and selling is still illegal, with consumers only allowed to grow at home – yet the sale of seeds is also still illegal. Baffling, to say the least.

Unfortunately, with New Zealand voting against recreational legalisation, thanks to misinformation and fear mongering from the “No” campaigners, it’s even more unlikely more Australian states will see recreational legalisation in the near future.

And that’s regardless of the fact that an Australian cannabis task force reported in 1994 that cannabis prohibition does little to benefit the society:

Current total prohibition policies has been unsuccessful in reducing drug use and causes significant social harm, as well as higher law enforcement costs.

In more recent times, it’s been discovered that just policing cannabis is costing the Australian economy $1.1 billion every year. And on the other end, the leader of Australia’s Help End Marijuana Prohibition Party believes 100,000 jobs could be created if it’s legalised, and the former Greens leader reporting a possible $2 billion a year could be added to the budget from taxation.

It begs the questions, why are they keeping cannabis in prohibition? Here’s a Western Australian Minister for Education & Training of the Labor Party expressing her thoughts on the subject.

The research is increasing that does show…uhh…the…ummmm….ahhhh…[cannabis] use is dangerous and addictive.

Thankfully, the evidence is growing, and more and more Australians are backing legalisation (but we still don’t think a referendum should be held). The 2019 National Drug Household Survey reported for the first time in it’s history that more Australians supported legalising recreational cannabis than not. America’s CDC has also come out reporting that states with legal cannabis do not see an increase in teenage cannabis addiction. A recent study by Australia’s University of Sydney under the Lambert Initiative has also shown that CBD does not impair a person’s driving skills.

And with the United Nations recently down-scheduling cannabis to the lowest possible grade, we can only hope those in government are able to see what’s being shown – and take action on it.

It’s even been discovered that when initially implementing prohibition of cannabis back in 1927, authorities in Victoria could not explain why they were banning the drug.

Records show that authorities could not see any particular reason to ban the drug.

Some, however, aren’t willing to wait for the current government to spark change. With two new political parties forming in the past few months, Legalise Cannabis Queensland and Legalise Cannabis Western Australia, aiming to bring more awareness to the subject and pressure the majority governments into finally doing the right thing.

Cannabis destroyed by the NSW police
Cannabis destroyed by the NSW police

Unsurprisingly, New South Wales, the state which has received much negative feedback on their introduction of drug sniffer dogs in public areas, was the state which openly shared their huge cannabis busts across their websites and social media.

The $203 million figure comes after just over $100 million was seized by their police force in the first half of 2020. Here’s another $103 million seized in the second half from New South Wales and Queensland. The actually figure is likely much higher – however due to insufficient transparency in various state’s reporting, we’re unable to provide an accurate number.

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