THE police have intercepted $503.5million worth of marijuana plants in three raids this year.
Fiji Police Force drug unit officer-in-charge Sakeo Ganivatu said the raids – Yadra Viti Dua, Yadra Viti Rua, Yadra Viti Tolu – were conducted in the highlands of Navosa.
ASP Ganivatu said in the first raid they uprooted marijuana plants with a street value of $200m.
In the second, plants worth $300m were uprooted.
“In the third one on Tuesday, we uprooted plants with a street value of $3.58m,” he said.
“We have officers searching for more plantations,” he said.
If we believe the Police and Military recovered $503 million dollars worth of marijuana then Fiji has a bigger drug problem than Mexico or Colombia. If we presume that the crop is less than 10% of the amount grown then Fiji has an untaxed $5 Billion drug business. This would equate to the average Fijian spending $5000 per year on dope. Let’s legalize it and tax it. This would generate at least $545 million in tax revenue using standard accounting principles. Add VAT and FNPF and we have a new goldmine to replace sugar. Other countries have toyed with the idea but have chickened out after pressure from their neighbors. We don’t listen to our neighbors anyway. Imagine the new tourists that we would immediately attract. We could develop new resorts based on the legally available marijuana. Internationally we would become the holiday island of choice for millions of drug users. The recent survey of tourism noted that we are failing to attract the younger tourists. This would solve the problem. Add millions more in revenue that no other country could compete with. We would have a suitable replacement for kava for the younger generation to keep them placid and unobjecting while their land is raped and pillaged. Even if this was not the answer to Fiji’s problems it would still sedate the opposition either physically or financially.
Unfortunatly this all hinges on the $500 million lie currently being promoted by the Police and Military.
I say look for markets in the pharmaceutical / manufacturing fields for export and get it legalized - na levu ni cavucavu ena sega ni vakalutuka na levu ni teitei - it has a quicker turnover or maturity time then cash crops like cassava & dalo, if there is a market and it is legalized it can do a lot for Fiji's economy!!!
I applaud the FP for the successful drug burst ops in Navosa .. but lets not forget that there is a reason why those villagers were farming those plants .. lets focus at Navosa Province .. I believed it is one of the most neglected province in Fiji in terms of developments .. no proper roads, few medical facilities, few schools etc.. I wonder if the current IG or the Fiji Police is already formulate a workable strategy that will replace those plants as a source of sustainable livelihood activities for those villagers .. otherwise this drug burst episode will be a yearly thing for the Fiji Police since those poor villagers will continue to plant those plants to met earns needs .. “lets remember that this is not the first drug burst in Navosa”