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Australians Spend $7 Billion Yearly on Illegal Drugs


November-December 1997

Australia spends up to $7 billion (AUS) a year or 1.4% of their total spending on illegal drugs, according to private sector analyst Access Economics. The report says, "The illegal drugs industry in Australia is a major industry, equivalent in size to the oil industry. It generates substantial costs for society, while generating no government revenue." The report suggests that the government could profit from legalizing cannabis, which accounts for more than 70% of the spending on illegal drugs ("Australia - spending on illegal drugs - report," Daily Telegraph (Sydney), October 9, 1997).