They define 4 matters for dialogue of their proposal, “How to strengthen New Zealand’s proposed cannabis legalization and control bill”
- Set a proper minimal worth for hashish
- Lower the efficiency cap for hashish merchandise
- Difficulties decreasing hashish use over time by way of a business market
- Difficulties taxing merchandise by THC efficiency
Two drug coverage specialists have recognized gaps and challenges in New Zealand’s proposal for legalizing leisure hashish. In advance of a widely-watched nationwide referendum vote to be held this September, Associate Professor Chris Wilkins and Dr. Marta Rychert of Massey University argue within the pages of Addiction that New Zealand’s Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill (CLCB) must be strengthened in two important areas:
Set a proper minimal worth for hashish: The legalization of hashish in different jurisdictions has resulted in vital declines within the authorized worth of hashish. Minimum unit pricing has been proven to be efficient at decreasing alcohol consumption ranges and associated harms. The CLCB features a discretionary energy to boost the excise tax for hashish for a most of 12 months if the value of hashish drops beneath the extent per functions of the Act. This discretionary energy lacks clear standards for activation and thus falls wanting a transparent minimal worth provision.
Lower the efficiency cap for hashish merchandise: High efficiency hashish is related to rising first-time hashish therapy admissions, transition to every day use, hashish dependence and better danger of psychosis and psychosis relapse. The CLCB’s most efficiency ranges for hashish plant (15% THC) seems to be on the larger finish of these at present discovered within the black market in New Zealand. Potency ranges for edibles and extracts are expressed as milligrams “per unit” and “per package” with out defining what constitutes a unit or bundle. (Edibles and concentrates is not going to initially be bought however they’re included within the CLCB for future approval.)
Wilkins and Rychert additionally determine two public well being targets of the CLCB that might be tough to realize:
Difficulties decreasing hashish use over time by way of a business market: The CLCB largely proposes a business hashish market with provisions for non-commercial and not-for-profit provide. The CLCB goal of reducing hashish use over time seems at odds with the proposed business hashish sector, which can concentrate on increasing gross sales. Non-commercial or not-for-profit operators can present authorized entry to hashish whereas avoiding revenue pushed business firms.
Difficulties taxing merchandise by THC efficiency: The CLCB proposes a progressive product excise tax primarily based on THC efficiency and weight. Considerable work might be required to implement a potency-based tax, together with constant sampling procedures, licensed testing amenities, and efficient auditing to forestall producers gaming the system. Also, the reliability and replicability of testing THC is problematic. A weight-based tax (just like the taxation of tobacco) could also be a extra sensible various for now.
Dr Wilkins says: “The New Zealand referendum vote will be the first time a country will have the opportunity to vote on a comprehensive regulatory framework to legalise cannabis rather than a general question asking whether cannabis should be legal or not. It’s therefore important that New Zealand voters clearly understand the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed CLCB.”
Wilkins and Rychert supplied suggestions on the primary draft of the CLCB to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice Cannabis Referendum Team, together with quite a lot of different nameless specialists and public commentators. The authors obtained no monetary or non-financial remuneration for these feedback.