End Poverty with Marijuana?

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Leighton Baker, Party Leader. The Greens’ promise to end poverty has just suffered a terminal, self inflicted injury, by pushing to legalise marijuana.

A massive study published in Aug 2016 in the US Journal of Drug Issues found that the proportion of marijuana users who smoke daily has rapidly grown, and that many of those frequent users are poor and lack a high-school diploma.

Examining a decade of federal surveys of drug use conducted between 2002 and 2013, study authors Steven Davenport and Jonathan Caulkins paint one of the clearest pictures yet of the demographics of current marijuana use in the U.S.

“Consumption is highly concentrated among the smaller number of daily & near-daily users, and they tend to be less educated, less affluent, and less in control of their use.”

Americans of all ages with a household income of less than $20,000 accounted for 29 percent of all marijuana use but represent just 19 percent of the total adult population.

The concentration of use among poorer households means that many marijuana users are spending a high proportion of their income on their marijuana habit. Users who spend fully one quarter of their income on weed account for 15 percent of all marijuana use.

If a genuine effort is too be made to reduce poverty, then the causes of poverty like family breakdown and poor education need to be addressed. Both practical experience and research show that legalising harmful substances will not reduce poverty, The Conservative Party believes that good relationship education, early trade streaming and stable housing are real ways to reduce poverty.

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