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Quantifying the social costs of cannabis use in Australia

Aug 7, 2020

The National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University has published a paper titled “Quantifying the social costs of cannabis use to Australia in 2015 / 16.” The authors considered costs related to the criminal justice system, premature mortality, inpatient care, out-of-hospital treatments, workplace costs, road traffic accidents, and miscellaneous costs like child protection and prevention programs. The total cost to the community was found to be around $4.47 billion dollars, with the largest proportion of costs by far being those related to law enforcement which was estimated to cost $2.4 billion dollars. Nearly half of this amount was the cost of imprisoning people, with further costs associated with administering community supervision orders relating to cannabis use. Primary care and specialist drug treatment services were the next most expensive item, costing $0.6 billion dollars.

Download “Quantifying the social costs of cannabis use to Australia in 2015 / 16.” (3MB PDF)