THE Northern Rivers has lost the mantle of the of the cannabis capital of Australia, according to recent crime statistics.
This is despite the number of offences involving the wacky weed climbing in the region.
In 2009 and 2010 Byron Bay Local Government Area topped the state for possession/and or use of cannabis, with Lismore LGA, which includes Nimbin, ranking second in 2007, 2009 and 2010, according to statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The rankings are based on a comparison of the number of offences per 100,000 people in any of the 140 NSW local government areas that have more than 3000 people.
In 2011, Byron LGA slipped to third in the state behind the south-western NSW LGAs of Narrandera and Wakool, while Lismore LGA fell to 11th.
This was despite Byron and Lismore both having more offences than Narrandera and Wakool, which ranked above the Northern Rivers LGAs, as they have much smaller populations.
The figures for Byron LGA in 2011 were despite the number of recorded offences increasing from 689 to 750.
Lismore's fall from grace in 2010 can be attributed to the number of offences falling from 740 in 2010 to 367 in 2011.
Although both the Northern Rivers LGAs are no longer topping the state, the number of offences recorded in Byron and Lismore still far exceed Narrandera and Wakool, which recorded 230 and 112 respectively.
From 2008 to 2011, recorded arrests in the Byron LGA for cannabis were between nine and 11 times the state average, while in the Lismore LGA this figure varied between four and eight times the state average.
Richmond Local Area Command acting crime manager Detective Inspector Bernadette Ingram said there had been five simultaneous search warrants executed last week in Casino where drugs were seized including cannabis, methamphetamines, cash, firearms, and two laboratories.
In case you thought Australia is tough on drugs:
- A man found with a joint containing .003g of a cannabis joint stuck to the bottom of his shoe in Dubai was jailed for four years.
- Getting caught with a single joint in Indonesia can land you in jail for four years. Major importers can face the firing squad.
- Planting a cannabis seed in Malaysia can get you life in prison. Anyone caught dealing large amounts of cannabis will face death.
- Anyone caught growing cannabis in the Philippines can expect a sentence ranging from life to the death penalty.
- Being caught with one joint in Japan could land you in jail for five years. Foreigners are more likely to be deported and never allowed to return.
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