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Shamubeel Eaqub, Sense Partners: "The economics of drug law reform stack up."

We argue that New Zealand needs to change its drug laws for human rights, health and social reasons. But we can also show change makes sound economic sense.

The Drug Foundation, together with Matua Raki and the Needle Exchange, commissioned an independent economic analysis of our model drug law, Whakawātea te Huarahi. The report tests the costs and benefits of:

  • Decriminalising the use and possession of all drugs
  • Legalising cannabis
  • Investing more effectively in prevention, education, harm reduction and treatment

The figures show that drug law reform adds up.

Removing penalties for drug use and investing in health has a net social benefit of $112m - $1.001b per year

Taxes from cannabis sales would cover the extra investment in health

Our full policy is cost-effective, allows people to get the help they need and does not burden them with a drug conviction.

The report confirms that not only can New Zealand create a safer legal system, but the economics stack up. Law reform is the right thing to do - and it will more than pay for itself.

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