Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts

Should Marijuana (Cannabis) Be Legalised in Papua New Guinea

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a drug that is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. In recent years, there has been a growing debate on the legalisation of marijuana, with many countries around the world taking steps towards decriminalisation or full legalisation. 

Papua New Guinea's (PNG) potential to grow Cannabis as a cash crop is there, but there are very few arguments for and against the legalisation of marijuana in this country. So we ask, 'Should Marijuana (Cannabis) Be Legalised in Papua New Guinea?'

Here are some arguments for and against decriminalising and or legalising the cultivation and selling of Cannabis. (Leave a comment about what you think).

Pros of Legalising Marijuana in PNG

Market Size: 

Legalising marijuana in PNG could create a new market for the plant. With a population of over 8 million people, there is a potential market for both recreational and medical marijuana. 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Papua New Guinea is one of the largest producers of cannabis in the Asia-Pacific region, and this could be an opportunity to capitalise on that market.

Health Benefits: 

Marijuana has been found to have various medicinal properties that can help in the treatment of certain conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Legalising marijuana would make it easier for those who need it for medical purposes to access it legally.

Revenue Generation: 

Legalising marijuana in PNG could also generate revenue for the government through taxes and fees.

In states where marijuana is legal in the United States, for example, there has been a significant increase in tax revenue. This additional revenue could be used to fund various government programs, including healthcare and education.

Potential Cash Crop:

Marijuana is a high-value crop that could become a major cash crop for PNG farmers. 

By legalising marijuana, local farmers could benefit from increased demand and higher prices for their crops. This could help boost the local economy and create jobs in the agricultural sector.

Should Marijuana (Cannabis) Be Legalised in Papua New Guinea

Cons of Legalising Marijuana in PNG

Health Risks: 

While marijuana has been found to have some health benefits, it also has risks associated with its use. These include addiction, impaired cognitive function, and respiratory problems. 

If marijuana is legalised in PNG, there will need to be measures put in place to mitigate these risks, such as age restrictions and quality control.

Crime and Black Market: 

Legalising marijuana could also lead to an increase in crime and the black market. 

Criminal organisations may continue to traffic marijuana to areas where it is still illegal or where it can be sold at a higher price. This could lead to increased violence and other criminal activities.

For example, a recent report indicated that cannabis-use data from Australia’s national organised crime-fighting agency shows that criminal groups grab $25 billion a year from cannabis in Australia. That's how much money that's circulating underground, un-taxed. Imagine taking that off organised crime and taxing it for public services.

Negative Impact on Villagers and Local Farmers:

While legalising marijuana could benefit local farmers, it could also have negative impacts on villagers and small-scale farmers. 

Large corporations could move in and dominate the market, pushing out local growers and taking control of the industry.


While marijuana is a popular tourist attraction in some areas, legalising it in PNG could also have negative impacts on tourism. Some tourists may be put off by the idea of marijuana being legal, and it could also give the country a negative image.

Examples of Places where Marijuana is Legal

There are a number of countries and states where marijuana has been legalised or decriminalised. 

In the United States, for example, marijuana has been legalised for recreational use in 15 states and the District of Columbia. 

It is also legal for medical use in many other states. 

Other countries that have legalised marijuana for recreational use include Canada, Uruguay, and South Africa.

Growing and Selling Marijuana

Growing and selling marijuana is a complex process that requires knowledge and expertise. Marijuana plants need specific growing conditions, including adequate light, temperature, and humidity. They also need to be fertilised and protected from pests and diseases. 

Selling marijuana legally requires a license and compliance with government regulations.

Legalising Marijuana in PNG

The legalisation of marijuana in Papua New Guinea has both pros and cons. While it could create a new market, generate revenue, and have health benefits, it could also lead to health risks, crime, and negative impacts on local farmers and villagers. 

If marijuana is legalised, there will need to be measures put in place to ensure that the industry is regulated and that the risks are mitigated.

One potential solution could be to follow the examples of countries and states where marijuana has already been legalised. The government could create regulations to control the production, sale, and distribution of marijuana, while also putting in place measures to protect public health and safety. This could include age restrictions, quality control, and licensing requirements.

In addition, the government could work with local farmers and communities to ensure that they benefit from the legalisation of marijuana. This could include providing education and training on growing and selling marijuana, as well as creating opportunities for local farmers to sell their crops legally.


Overall, the decision to legalise marijuana in Papua New Guinea is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of both the benefits and the risks. 

With the right policies and regulations in place, however, it is possible that the legalisation of marijuana could be a positive development for the country, creating new opportunities for economic growth and public health.

Fighting The White Collar Criminals and Fraudsters in Papua New Guinea, No Room For Complacency

Transparency International’s most recent survey of global corruption (2014) revealed that PNG was 145th of 175 nations in the World, with the 175th being the most corrupt. In the Asia Pacific region, PNG was placed 21st with North Korea ranked 25th - placing PNG just 4 places away from a nation described as most authoritarian (dictatorial) regime in the 21st century.

This number captured informed views of analysts, business people and experts who have worked and lived in PNG. No one can dispute intelligence and experience of these experts unless significant improvements are evident within public service and law and justice sector.

What is important here is the reality that decision makers (politicians) and public service machinery (public servants) are putting PNG amongst the worst of corrupt nations on Earth. 

In order to improve the country’s ranking, first political leaders have to take the lead. That means that the Cabinet has to either set up anticorruption bodies, empower existing fraud investigation squad or both. Task Force Sweep – the anticorruption body set up by Peter O’Neill in August 2011 - was established in good faith. 

Any political initiatives for fighting corruption have to be formally sanctioned through the Constitution and given legal powers to both investigate and prosecute alleged white collar criminals. It must not be subjective to Cabinet ministers who are likely to withdraw support when they are investigated.

Independence of such graft fighting body is important. This will stop what happened to Task Force Sweep where the prime minister disbanded it when he was the subject of their investigation. Recent report revealed that this anticorruption body is stuffed off funds and on the verge of closing all its investigations. This is a direct blow as far as fighting corruption is concerned. 

The government has to remain true to the effort to reduce white collar crimes and fraudulent activities in the public sector by releasing K7 million funding for this year (2014). On the same token, the government of Peter O'Neill has to increase the funding for this effective but underfunded anticorruption watchdog. 

Second, public service departmental heads and secretaries will have to be appointed on merit instead of appointed by political affiliation. Questions have to be asked now to ascertain appointees to every government ministerial position. Wantoks and political allies must not sit at those positions if they do not have the experiences and credentials.

This is where corruption takes hold of government systems . To reduce fraudulent activities in public sector offices, a recruitment system has to be set up in future to recruit eligible candidates from within and overseas who can deliver on policy provisions and delivery of goods and services to cities, towns and villages in the country.

Meanwhile, a proper review of ‘who’ is doing ‘what’ is long overdue, starting with the prime minister’s office including every position within the 32 ministries in the government.

So has PNG seen an improvement in the fight against corruption? Regardless of public and international perception on corruption, there is some signs of improvement. Task Force Sweep had arrested over 50 people and recouped K60 million15 MPs are currently under investigation for white collar crimes and corruption: 3 are found guilty;

- PM for Pomio Paul Tiensten is convicted of ‘making a footnote on a project proposal that compelled the officers of National Planning to bypass the lawful processes and procedures in making payment’ of K10 million to Travel Air  and is serving 9 years in Bomana Prison

- Gulf Governor Havila Kavo is given 3 years prison sentence for has been found guilty of misusing K130 000 from a trust account belonging to the people of Kikori district for infrastructure.

- MP for Komo-Magarima Francis Potape found guilty by the National Court of misusing K330,000 of public funds.

Many Papua New Guineans thought maximum sentence of 10 years for misappropriation of public funds did not match the amount of money these white collar criminals and fraudsters siphoned. But the fact is that justice was served. That is what matters the most.

Task Force Sweep has to keep the momentum. The government has to release funds for it to operate. Not doing so means that Peter O'Neill and Leo Dion's government are starving a vital investigative body to death, thus nursing corruption. 

Blast from the recent past | Goroka Coffee Ranked Third in World Competition

Quality coffee produced by a local coffee producer was ranked third in an international coffee cupping competition in the United States of America recently.

The Sihereni coffee estate, owned and operated by David Orimarie in the Kwonghi area of Upper Asaro Local Level Government in Daulo District of Eastern Highlands Province won the 3rd placing among a total of 30 coffee samples of different coffee producing countries collected by Ecom Trading around the world.

The coffee was tasted and certified by the Rainforest Alliance under “The Best of Ecom Coffee” competition using cupping standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

During a recent announcement of the award at the Heaven Resort in Goroka, managing director of Monpi Coffee Exports,Chris Anders expressed great satisfaction on the achievement. Monpi Coffee Exports is a subsidiary of Ecom Trading, an international commodity trading company. Anders said, the result reflects the commitment and persistency of Orimarie to achieve top quality coffee.

“Sihereni’s achievement is an achievement of the PNG coffee industry,” said Anders.
Orimarie acquired the 22 hectares estate planted with a mixture of Arusha and Blue Mountain, in 2002 and has been in partnership with the Monpi Coffee Exports to improve his wet mill and acquire advice on agronomy, better business practice and seek niche markets. He expressesed great satisfaction on the achievement and attributed the achievement to Monpi Coffee Exports for the much needed advice and guidance.

“Quality control is the basis of our operation. Quality control standards have been established and are made sure they are maintained at all times,” said Orimarie in a previous media report written by reporter James Kila.

The report states that Sihereni has developed quickly to gain more reputation in the international and local coffee and finance community through its initiatives to produce quality coffee and practice good financial management.

The coffee samples from Sihereni scored 85 points and was described as having the taste of; melon, black tea, grapefruit, intense fruit, herby, tomato soup, sweet, bright acidity, medium body, adds grapefruit and floras in finish as cools.

Manager for Industry Regulation and Compliance at the Coffee Industry Corporation,Sam Menanga, shared similar sentiments and urged other coffee companies to follow suit in producing quality coffee to attract niche markets.


Fri 25 Oct 2013



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