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In the 12/26/2018 edition:

Tobacco giant Altria strides into vape market with $19b Juul Stake

Dec 26, 2018 04:36 pm

NZ Herald 21 December 2018
Family First Comment: Welcome to Big Marijuana – potentially in NZ one day. NZ Investors are already lining up.
“….The investment comes about two weeks after Altria stepped into the cannabis market with an investment of around $2 billion in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider. North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from US$9.2 billion in 2017, to US$47.3 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.”

Altria, one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, is spending nearly US$13 billion (NZ$19 billion) to buy a huge stake in the vape company Juul as cigarette use continues to decline.

The Marlboro maker said Thursday that it will take a 35 per cent share of Juul, putting the value of the company at US$38 billion, larger than Ford Motor Company, Delta Air Lines or the retail giant Target.

“We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes,” Altria Chairman and CEO Howard Willard said in a prepared statement.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices have been sold in the US since 2007 and have grown into a US$6.6 billion business, and it is already intersecting with another seismic shift in the US — the legalisation of marijuana across the US.

The investment comes about two weeks after Altria stepped into the cannabis market with an investment of around $2 billion in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider.

North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from US$9.2 billion in 2017, to US$47.3 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.

Altria Group isn’t the only major corporation attempting to incorporate marijuana sales.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12180726&ref=twitter

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Survey reveals volume and nature of crimes committed in New Zealand last year

Dec 26, 2018 04:02 pm

Radio NZ News 20 December 2018
Family First Comment: Seven times the number actually reported!
“The survey suggested there were just under 1.8 million criminal offences in the past 12 months – that compares to about 256,000 reported to the police. The most common crime was burglary followed by harrassment, threatening behaviour and fraud.”

The country’s first crime and victims survey suggests almost two million crimes were committed last year, about seven times the number reported to police.

The Justice Ministry spoke to more than 8000 people for the project in an attempt to get to grips with the true volume and nature of crime in this country.

It found less than a quarter were willing to make a complaint.

People were asked if they’d been victims over the past 12 months, and 71 percent said they had not.

Of those who said they had been victims of crime, Māori and young people aged 20-29 made up the biggest numbers, while those over 65 were least likely to be affected.

But most wouldn’t bother going to the police.

Justice Ministry head of research James Swindells said that was due to a number of reasons, including people not realising a crime had been committed against them.

He said recent immigrants may also be reluctant to report what had happened because their experience with the police in their own country had not been a good one.

The survey suggested there were just under 1.8 million criminal offences in the past 12 months – that compares to about 256,000 reported to the police.
READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/378680/survey-reveals-volume-and-nature-of-crimes-committed-in-new-zealand-last-year

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Mike Yardley: Cynical cannabis referendum from a Government that’s soft on crime

Dec 26, 2018 03:46 pm

NZ Herald 19 December 2018
Family First Comment: Well said, Mike.
“Would legalisation improve the health, well-being and productivity of New Zealand? No, it would not. How could it?”
#SayNopeToDope

So we’ve got a date for a referendum on dope: election day 2020.

It will be binding and its timing looks like a canny ploy by Labour and the Greens to mobilise the young, the bums and the wayward to get off the couch and actually vote.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but is the cannabis referendum actually being used as bait to try to woo them to the ballot box (and win their party vote too?)

There are many pros and cons to legalising cannabis. I accept that. But the bottom line for me is this: would legalisation improve the health, well-being and productivity of New Zealand? No, it would not. How could it?

So why legalise it? Why capitulate to the cannabis crowd, just because a few other countries have? Why surrender?

Why would we want to throw even more fuel on the fire of our mental health crisis, particularly among our youth? Why add to the scrapheap of wasted lives? I have seen its insidious effects on far too many people I care about. Stolen potential. Broken lives.

But there’s a broader theme unfolding here, that spells political danger for the Government. They could cook their own goose.

Andrew Little’s happy-clappy Justice Summit set the tone. Look at the firestorm over the Rouxle Le Roux sentence. The mood music is growing louder.

This Government is perceived as soft on crime and dysfunction. They want to empty the jails.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12179476&ref=twitter

Mike Hosking: Stupid, naive drug move bungle of year
NZ Herald 20 December 2018 
Were we asleep or does no one care?

The headline the Government wanted you to hear was the one about cracking down on peddlers and producers of drugs.

Stuart Nash and David Clark, with their best earnest faces on, talked of the scourge of drugs and how they were coming after the bad guys.

“Has making drugs a criminal activity worked? No, not overtly successfully, which of course is the government’s argument.

But it’s no less successful than domestic violence or dangerous driving, are we making those health issues as well?

Part of a government’s role is a top down approach to behaviour expectation, agendas, outlooks, aspirations, and intent for the entire country.

If it looks loose at the top, it fast becomes a slippery slope.

A society’s success is based at least in part by what is not tolerated, what is not acceptable.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12179487&ref=twitter

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Big cannabis: Should pot be legal? A debate

Dec 26, 2018 03:12 pm

Radio NZ News 19 December 2018

New Zealanders are to be given the final say on whether personal use of cannabis should be legal. The question will be put in a binding referendum to be held at the 2020 general elections. To get two very different takes on the subject we have Sandra Murray, spokesperson from the Cannabis Referendum Coalition, and Bob McCoskrie, director of Family First.

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