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ALCP Budget Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability

ALCP Budget: Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability

Maintaining cannabis prohibition in New Zealand is estimated to cost the taxpayer $500 million annually. Add to that the tax revenue which could be generated from licensed cannabis distributors and producers and it is clear that ALCP policy would easily add over $1 billion to the government's operational budget each year, benefiting all New Zealanders.

Already, jurisdictions in The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Colorado State are regulating cannabis, allowing locals and foreigners to buy or possess small amounts of the product. They have managed to establish the industry, despite the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotics.

Not only would a regulated marketplace for cannabis generate revenue for government, it would do so at the same time as drastically cutting government spending. Regulation of cannabis would also allow small business owners to earn a decent income and provide employment opportunities for numerous staff members.

Medical research has comprehensively shown that cannabis is safe and has therapeutic benefits for hundreds of medical conditions. Medical Marijuana producers could establish a significant presence in New Zealand reducing the cost of importing cannabis medicines like Sativex (http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/RIss/Sativex.asp). Cannabinoids have been described as the "wonder-drug of the 21st century" by the Harvard Medical School. Allowing cannabis medicines to be produced in New Zealand would reduce Pharmac's expenditure, freeing up funds to subsidise specialised drugs for more specific treatments.

In 1938, the Hemp Industry was the first agricultural crop to be valued in the billions of dollars. The same year prohibition of hemp lead to the rise of synthetic and petro-chemical products, at huge cost to the environment. Returning to hemp products, which have over 20,000 known uses, would reverse the tide of environmental degradation, deforestation and pesticide use.

Entire houses can be constructed from hemp-crete, hemp fibre boards and hemp plastics. Hemp houses are naturally warm, dry and healthy to live in. New Zealand;s housing shortage could easily be addressed by building homes out of affordable hemp materials. Fuels made from hemp can generate electricity and power our motor vehicles, while maintaining a neutral carbon footprint.

Hemp farming should be promoted in New Zealand, to create employment and train young people in establishing successful, environmentally sustainable businesses. Hemp products have a huge export market especially in the United States when its production is currently illegal. New Zealand farmers should apply to the Ministry of Health for a Hemp Licence. (http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-system/medicines-control/hemp-industrial-hemp)

Regulating cannabis would take the market away from gangs and make it harder for youth to access, while allowing adults to make free choices about their cannabis use. Medical marijuana will reduce cancer rates and help treat many illnesses. Hemp Food nutrition will improve health and prevent disease. Hemp will be used for fuels, construction and manufacturing bio-plastics, insulating New Zealand's economy from international fluctuation in the price of oil.

ALCP are not a party that only cares about one issue, as outlined above, we believe our policy will have positive impacts across a wide range of government sectors. Our policy would have a range of social, economic and environmental benefits across society. ALCP support personal responsibility, civil liberties and true justice. Our policy endorses Common Law and the Treaty of Waitangi and seeks a proper and just balance between the power of the state and the rights and dignity of the individual.

It is impossible to estimate how valuable the hemp industry will become for our economy but it is clear that ALCP policy will deliver billions of dollars in revenue to the taxpayer, reduce crime and access to hard drugs while providing employment and skills training. The overall value of the Cannabis, Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana industries would total in the tens of billions of dollars annually, with no limit to growth in the industry. Unlike traditional resources, hemp is renewable and carbon neutral allowing economic growth and environmental sustainability to occur simultaneously.


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