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New Zealand Suffers Acute Shortage of Marijuana: 42% Aged Kiwis Familiar With Smoking Weed

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(Credit: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg/Getty Images) Marijuana plants grow in a greenhouse at the Los Suenos Farms facility in Avondale, Colorado, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. About 938 dispensaries, which outnumber Starbucks in Colorado, in 2015 yielded $135 million in state taxes and fees, 44 percent more than a year earlier. Yet as the market enters its third year after voters legalized retail sales in 2012, officials question whether the newfound income outweighs the escalating social costs. Marijuana Growing At Los Suenos Farms As Colorado's $1-Billion Pot Industry Saves Towns
March 19
11:05 AM 2016

New Zealand has been witnessing a catastrophic shortage of its most popular illegal substance- marijuana. A terrible draught has reportedly been affecting New Zealand causing great shortage of the weed. Cannabis has become almost an unobtainable substance for any meaningful amount in the island state right now.

The island nation has been punching above its weight in terms of cannabis consumption while 42% of all adults over 15 have tried the substance. Notably mentioning, New Zealand observes growing, cultivation, supplying or manufacturing cannabis as cognizable offenses.

The law convicts such offenders with penalty for NZ$500 to 14 years' imprisonment. Usage of the weed is most common among people aged 15 to 24, especially men, according to a report published in The Guardian.

Christian 42, a cannabis inhaler has been forced to seek a prescription for anti-depressants from his doctor in mid December following the current shortage. The Spinoff appears the first to report the marijuana crisis among the island nation. Moreover, it has reported a combined police and air force operation culminating elimination of around 9,000 cannabis plants in Tasman district, earlier this month.

However, majority of the Kiwis observe the law enforcers move as wastage of money. Many have even criticized for engaging The Royal New Zealand Air Force in busting weed growers whenever around 150 burglaries a day remain unsolved by the police. The elimination of cannabis plants has possibly added fuel to the ongoing crisis.

Even without the law enforcer's anti-drug activity, some smokers have been complaining about the struggle to get any at all. Upset cannabis customers have even lodged complaints with Reddit on unjust spikes in cost.

TIME reports that an ounce of the illicit substance has been selling for $275 or more in New Zealand. The same quantity of the weed has been available for $200 to $240 earlier.

Some Kiwis have reportedly blamed floods for dampening availability of the drug. However, some other claim, the flood has affected only some parts of the country.

In New Zealand, there exist a lot of instances where people turn to marijuana to cure their illness. Cricket hero Martin Crowe and Sir Paul Holmes have reportedly used cannabis to help relieve their pain in the last stages of life.

Usage, growing, supply and possession of cannabis are cognizable offences according to the law of New Zealand. But legal efforts have apparently failed to keep away the Kiwis from smoking cannabis since around 42% of them are reportedly familiar with the illicit substance. However, possibly due to drought and flood, the island state is passing through scarcity of the popular illegal substance.

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