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Cannabis vs. Alcohol: What Exactly Are The Economic & Social Impacts?


Some relevant details

According to Mental Health Foundation research, 16 percent of New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some point in their lives. To boot, in 2014, the median income from wages and salaries was $45,000 before tax. (The median income in the U.S. is $52,000). Meanwhile, the cost of living in New Zealand is almost 6 percent higher than the U.S. That said, it is really hard to blame cannabis use for the social and economic decline of the people in the study, when there are so many other socio-economic factors at play.


Perhaps even more importantly, cannabis is not legal in New Zealand. This means that cannabis users have to do things the “old fashioned way.” That is, pay top dollar for a low-grade product (expensive) and do it all black-market style (depressing). So when a psychologist with dual appointments at Duke University and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London states, “Cannabis may be safer than alcohol for your health, but…

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