Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Meth sales doubled drugs trade in decade

The huge rise in amphetamine dealing has led to New Zealand's illegal drugs trade doubling in less than a decade, researchers say.

The market for amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and Ecstasy was now worth $168 million a year - about the same as cannabis.

The trade in amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) had effectively doubled the dollar value of the New Zealand drugs trade in less than 10 years, concluded the study by Massey University's centre for social and health outcomes research evaluation (Shore).

Authorities were seizing about 10 per cent of ATS stocks, researcher Chris Wilkins said in the university journal, Massey News this week.

The study also found about 100,000, or one in 10, New Zealanders aged 18 to 29 had used an ATS in the past year and a third of that group were regular users.

The group had a more "middle-class profile" than other drug users, with many in well-paid jobs and high levels of education.

People who had been arrested were more likely to use ATS drugs than the general population.

One third of ATS users had sold methamphetamine and a fifth had made it or exchanged it for stolen property.

The proceeds from the trade found their way to a small number of criminal gangs, who had introduced methamphetamine manufacture to the country.

The study, undertaken for the police, drew from several sources and surveyed ATS users in Auckland.

Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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