The popo, the stoner and the price

Nowadays dagga smokers are found from Cape Town to Johannesburg and everywhere in between and even neighbouring countries especially Swaziland & Lesotho. The number one illicit herb in the world has become the most popular recreational “drug”. It is even giving tobacco and alcohol a run for its money.

In South Africa dagga prohibition is taken so seriously that not even a cannabinoid filled fart is missed undetected. Recently a university student discovered you can test how much marijuana is used within a suburb by testing a neighbourhood, a complex or even a house’s main sewage line.

In South Africa dagga is so potent that officers and even government officials who come near the bud wear hard hats and bullet proof vests. As seen on Below The Lion.

The facts, estimations, statistics, probabilities and anecdotal math speculation.
By 2010 there were 1116 police stations across South Africa employing 150513 officers. This organization managed to confiscate 2000 metric tons of dagga between 2012 and 2013. That is 2 billion grams of dagga.

Recently a news article boasted about a si

ngle police station from an average suburb that managed to arrest 10 persons for dagga possession on a single day!

In that article and so many others you commonly see that there is a task forces that deal with dagga policing. Although the narcotic division has been disbanded years ago there are still groups within the police serve that are on the frontline in the war not only against people who choose to use a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco but against a wonder plant that is a herb comparable to nutmeg.

In most of the photos used in reports of dagga busts you will always see that there are about 5 police officers per dagga suspect. The ratio of cops that are out there looking for a stoner is 5 to 1.

If we start calculating with these variables and introduce a random function the true cost of the war on dagga becomes clear.

One police station is able to arrest between 1700 to 1900 persons for dagga per year.
1116 police stations are able to arrest between 1050000 to 1140000 persons for dagga per year.

As we do not know the exact cost incurred by the police for each dagga arrest we could speak of the persons arrested as units that could later be multiplied by the cost. We can for instance use the minimum units which are the total number of dagga arrest per year to calculate the cost of housing dagga convicts and we can use the cops-stoner ratio to calculate the cost incurred by the task force.

Because it’s likely that there are five police officers involved in almost every dagga arrest the cop-stoner ratio is 5:1.

We come to the conclusion that the South African police spend approximately 1050000 to 5720000 units per year.

Let’s speculate that the total cost of arresting a single person for dagga possession is R1000 the South African police spend between R1.05 Billion to R5.72 Billion on the war on dagga per year.

We recently calculated that the value of dagga confiscated by the South African police between 2012 and 2013 is about R18 Billion when using Uruguay’s fixed price of $1 or R9.77

It was also calculated that the total value of dagga that evades the police in the same period is about R 176.04 Billion using the Uruguay model.

Ultimately this means that the police spend a pessimistically calculated R5.72 Billion to make an R18 Billion debt in an R 195.6 Billion market.

Do you think R1 spent on dagga prohibition is money well invested?



Please do criticize and correct were needed.

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