Impact of Cannabis in Oceania
In the last three decades, production, distribution, marketing and consumption of both illegal and legal substances in Oceania has transformed. International drug cartels are using sophisticated methods to move marijuana in and out of Oceania.
In Oceania today, Marijuana is by far the most widespread illegal substance.
Very little information has been documented concerning the use of marijuana, and it is not known the exact time when cannabis was introduced in Oceania. However, it is noted that in Australia, marijuana hit the streets before 1960.
Australian youths began smoking cannabis prevalently in the mid-1960s. Extensive smoking of marijuana in Oceania started in the late 1960s thanks to the influx of young expatriates. Then, it was an easy task to transport illegal substances such as marijuana into Oceania.
Marijuana was grown locally by expatriate users who settled in Oceania. They started growing the crop for their personal use. The local growers began sharing cannabis with their friends and a chain of marijuana smokers infiltrated the local community.
The sporadic use of Marijuana prompted authorities to take action on local growers prosecuting them and sending them to prison. By 1980, Marijuana cultivation was moved into the remote regions and was focussed particularly on the overseas markets.
A report published in 1988 claimed that the eastern province held the highest number of marijuana users. The Highland area however attracted more foreign customers due to the high-quality marijuana it was producing.
More and more cannabis plantations started springing up in the mid-1980s as cultivating the crop earned farmers and the cartels immense profits. Marijuana cultivation in the highlands was only surpassed by coffee cultivation.
Estimates suggest the first crops ensured that an extra $230 million began to circulate in Oceania in the form of employment, bribery, and consumption. To evade capture and prosecution, marijuana was and still is smuggled outside Oceania in small boats and small planes.
The Hidden Economy
Due to the illegality of marijuana growing, trade and use, the substance today forms part of the underground economy. Today, it is not possible to obtain the actual figures that cannabis reaches in Oceania.
The drug is illegal, and this means that it remains untaxed, and the region doesn’t profit from the overall growth and use of the crop.
The community in Oceania is however not pleased with the extensive use of the draconian colonial law that prohibited the growth and use of cannabis in Oceania.
Should the authorities be wise and legalize marijuana, the national consumption of cannabis would provide an instant and important boost to the economy, through taxes collected from its legalization.
There is a group of people emerging and claiming that there is social injustice being done in Oceania; they claim that most government officials do not want marijuana to be legalized.
These officials are concerned that legalization would lessen the consumption of other legal substances such as alcohol and cigarettes. The economic impact of cannabis is being held back by vested interests.
Failure to legalize cannabis in Oceania means that cartels operate incognito and end up profiting from the trade. The legal use of cannabis could turn black money into beneficial social projects.Full Review