Yes sorry everyone, it's another Cannabis-related article. The figures surrounding it are interesting to note.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: "On 17 March 2012 at 11:55:22 AM (Canberra time), the resident population of Australia is projected to be: 22,860,514" (Source www.abs.gov.au)
Whilst the director of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre estimates that 750,000 Australians use cannabis every week, and approximately 300,000 smoke it on a daily basis (Source)
The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey published in April 2008 by The Australian Institute of Health demonstrated that "Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia, with a reported one-third of all Australians aged 14 or older (33.5%, about 5.8 million) having tried cannabis and 1.6 million using it in the past year" (Wikipedia Article: 'Cannabis in Australia')
Okay all this got me thinking some things...
Firstly, despite the laws imposed on Marijuana, evidence shows it to be readily available considering the amount Australian's are purported to consume in a week.
Secondly, the disconnected policy surrounding the States and Territories of Australia not only makes things confusing but it also provides prospects to drug suppliers residing in areas where the penalties are not as severe.
And finally the amount of money that the industry as a whole must make is insane (a technical financial term).
Let's use the figures provided and make some assumptions. 750,000 Australians use cannabis 'every week' - Alright let's say they use it during that week and between everyone combined each of the 750,000 users consume 1 gram of marijuana...that combines for a total of 750kg of Marijuana for one week...or about 39-40 tonnes a year...a little over 105kg on average, per day.
And how much does Marijuana sell for in Australia? According to the Australian Crime Commission (Illicit Drug Data Report 2007-08) "the average price for one gram of cannabis ranged from A$20–A$35, although prices in remote areas can be significantly higher" (Wikipedia Article 'Cannabis in Australia)
...but using prices for one gram wouldn't be accurate. Others say they 'bush weed' can sell for $200 for an ounce (28 grams), which sounds strange but I wanted to use the lowest figures anyhow. So 1g @ $200/oz. prices is equal to ~$7.14 per gram... Multiply that by the 750,000 weekly users @ 1g each and that is equal to $5,355,000 a week.
Of course some smokers wouldn't pay anything for their Marijuana, whilst others would pay a lot more than $200 for 'bush weed'. In any case at the $7.14 per gram price, the 750,000 weekly smokers and based on the figure of an average of 1g for each of them...the supply chain would still make $278,460,000 per year from a total population (i.e. babies, kids, adults, the elderly combined) of less than 23 million.
I think it's about time the Drug Laws associated with Cannabis in Australia reflected reality somewhat and stopped incriminating the unlucky ones that get caught and remove the money supply from the seedy illegal street dealers that can sell for as much as they like and to whoever they want to.