Leading drug researcher Associate Professor Chris Wilkins from Massey University’s SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre is calling for the adoption of a not-for-profit public health model for recreational cannabis. It would allow regulated cannabis products to be sold by philanthropic societies, in an approach similar to the Class 4 gambling regime which was introduced in 2003 to regulate “pokie” trusts in New Zealand.
The Class 4 gambling regime has operated in New Zealand for more than 10 years – returning around $260 million to community groups annually, benefiting sports, arts, education and community services.
“Cannabis societies would pay 20 per cent of all cannabis sales revenue to drug treatment, 20 per cent to community groups and 20 per cent as government levies. Drug treatment and community grants would be distributed in the areas where cannabis sales occur, ensuring local people have good access to drug treatment if they need it. And local community groups would benefit from cannabis sales in their area,” Dr Wilkins says.
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