Marsden funds have been a way for the New Zealand government to fund scientific research studies since 1994, and this year is no different.
In 2017, the funds provided over 100 grants, totaling over $80 million, most of which go to universities.
The grants are named after Ernest Marsden, an English-New Zealand physicist who is most known for his research surrounding the structure of the atom.
A grant will also be given to Massey University’s SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, where professor Chris Wilkins will investigate the dark web’s role on the illegal drug supply in New Zealand.
The grant is significant, totaling over $860,000. The study will not only be limited to searching for the volume and kinds of drugs sold over the dark web, but will even analyze New Zealand waste water to make conclusions about drug use in the country, as well.
Drug Trade Worldwide
It doesn’t matter what country in the world you can think of—there’s a good chance that there is a drug subculture, the same way that crime is a worldwide issue.
For example, cocaine remains an issue among wealthy homes in the U.K., and is a symptom of a deeper socioeconomic divide.
Similarly, Ibiza is world-renowned for its drug and party scene, with recent reports detailing how easy it was for tourists to obtain drugs upon arrival.
Of course, there are all sorts of differing opinions with regard to how governments view and regulate drugs.
For example, South Korea’s drug laws are so strict that citizens can be punished according to Korean law even if they use drugs in a country where it is legal.
This contrasts with the Netherlands, which is much more focused on the drug trade than drug use.
New Zealand’s Drug Policies
The world in general appears to be moving towards more liberal drug policies.
For example, Portugal has witnessed a significant reduction in crime ever since it legalized drugs. On the other side of the spectrum, Duterte’s authoritarian drug policies have claimed thousands of lives.
Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, has recently expressed concern about the drug policy of New Zealand.
Ross Bell, the executive director of the NZ Drug Foundation, stated earlier this year that the nation spends millions annually to convict thousands of drug users, but still New Zealand is left with some of the highest rates of drug use worldwide, particularly affecting young people.
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