Legalising Cannabis In Australia Could Create $1 Billion In Tax Revenue, Says Expert

Countries around the world have started moving towards cannabis legalisation, ending a decades-long and arguably failed war on the drug.

While there have been a few benefits listed for cannabis, it seems as though the government that legalises it can reap massive rewards as well.

New figures from The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report show Canada has received $1.3 billion in tax revenue from the drug and experts reckon we could have similar figures here.

Investment strategist Mark Bernberg told nine.com.au: "It's a product very much like alcohol and gambling that's recession proof because it's a product of recreational consumption for adults.

"Colorado's state government's $1b in tax is not an insignificant number, with that money poured back into social support and upgrading schools, parks and public infrastructure."

Alcohol and cigarettes are already taxed at a very high amount in Australia, yet people still dig into their pockets to buy said products. Why wouldn't it be the same with legal weed?

Legalising the drug would also cut down on costs associated with keeping people in prison for low-level drug offences.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But it's not just good news for the government and people who love sparking up; it can see hundreds of thousands of jobs spring up across the country.

Mr Bernberg added: "It's not just people working in cultivation and bud tenders - people that work in dispensaries - who benefit from legal weed.

"A cannabis company is like any other business. There would be management positions, cultivators, biochemists, research teams, accounting teams and legal teams.

"There has been a huge demand for a skilled workforce to create high-level THC products indoors."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Of course when you're talking about legalising a previously illegal drug, and one that has been demonised for creating criminal-like behaviour and exacerbating mental health problems, people are going to be concerned about the health of the nation.

While there are health benefits for people suffering from painful terminal illnesses as well as conditions like epilepsy, studies have shown cannabis can make pre-existing mental health issues worse.

A spokesperson for the Australian Medical Association told nine.com.au: "The AMA acknowledges that cannabis use is harmful and can lead to adverse chronic health outcomes, including dependence, withdrawal symptoms, early onset psychosis, and the exacerbation of pre-existing psychotic symptoms."

So it's a tricky situation to weigh up - however if you're looking at it from a health perspective, it's confusing that cannabis is illegal yet tobacco and alcohol are the opposite.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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