Between January and the beginning of December 2013, security services in San Diego seized around 120,000 marijuana plants that were illegally grown in the county. The plants were seized from 113 different grow sites. The marijuana raids resulted in 89 arrests, with 58 grow sites located outdoors and 55 indoor growing operations.
Nearly 75 percent of the indoor marijuana growing sites involved hash-oil extraction, which has caused large explosions in several drug labs in Southern California. The process involves mixing marijuana with butane to extract oil from the weed that results in a form of liquid cannabis. The liquid offers users a stronger dose of marijuana and provides a high that is much stronger than a user would receive from smoking.
Source: “DEA: 120,000 marijuana plants seized from 113 grow sites in San Diego area since January 2013,” San Diego 6, December 9, 2013.
Source: Leticia Juarez, “Hash oil extraction is a growing, dangerous trend – officials,” ABC 7, October 21, 2013.
Border security agents in the United States have seen an increase in the number of teenagers transporting methamphetamine from Mexico into the US.
Back in 2009, security services arrested 176 minors under the age of 18 for entering California border crossing with marijuana. There were 5 arrests for methamphetamine.
In 2010, the arrests for marijuana smuggling decreased to 61 minors, with an increase to 27 minors for meth.
By 2011, meth overtook marijuana arrests with 40 arrests compared to 34 marijuana arrests. The trend continued in 2012 with 59 meth arrests and 14 arrests.
The 2013 fiscal year saw the largest gap between the two, with 75 meth arrests compared to 17 marijuana arrests.
Out of all drug-related arrests at US entry points, minors account for 5 percent of those arrests.
Intelligence collected by federal officials show that the Mexican drug cartels pay children $50 to $100 or each load that they carry across the border. The children, some as young as 12 years old, generally do not have a criminal record and do not abuse drugs.
Source: Sandra Dibble, “More Teens SMuggling Meth,” San Diego Union-Tribue, December 2, 2013.
Synthetic drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine seizures increased by over 250 percent in India between 2009 and 2012.
Security agents in India seized 12 kilograms of cocaine and 1,244 kilograms of ephedrine (used to make meth) in 2009. By 2012, the kilos of cocaine seized in India increased to 44, and ephedrine seizures rose to 4,393 kilos.
Seizures of the sedative Mandrax (Methaqualone) also increased during the 4 year time frame, from 5 kg in 2009 to 216 kg in 2012.
(Convert prices of grams of cocaine to kilograms.)
Seizures of marijuana dropped drastically during this time frame. 208,764 kg of ganja was seized in 2009, compared with 77,149 kg in 2012, a drop of 64 percent.
Mumbai has the largest market for cocaine in India, with the drug accounting for 82 percent of drug seized in 2012.
Source: Deeptiman Tiwary, “Use of synthetic drugs on the rise in India,” Times of India, November 25, 2013.
In a study conducted by Quest Diagnostics, less than 2 percent of workers in the United States tested positive for marijuana use through workplace drug testing. Back in 2002, just under 3 percent tested positive for marijuana.
The fall in workers testing positive stands in contrast to the numbers of Americans who use marijuana. According to the health officials, 7.3 percent of Americans admitted to smoking marijuana within the previous month, an increase from the 5.8 percent in 2007.
The use of prescription drugs by US workers increased dramatically in recent years, according to the study. The use of Adderall and other types of amphetamines doubled between 2002 and 2012. Since 2005, the use of Vicodin by workers rose by 172 percent, and OxyContin use increased by 72 percent.
(See the price of marijuana around the world.)
Source: Roberto A. Ferdman, “Americans are smoking more weed, but testing positive less often,” Quartz, November 18, 2013.
Source: Charlotte Alter, “Study: Fewer Workers Using Cocaine and Marijuana, But Prescription Drug Use Is Up,” Time, November 18, 2013.
5.1 percent of residents in Peru’s capital of Lima used cocaine in 2013, according to a report by a drug monitoring organization. 8.9 percent of the city’s residents used marijuana.
Across the entire country, 2.4 percent of the population aged 12 to 65 abused cocaine in Peru, an increase of over 60 percent from the 1.5 percent who used cocaine in 2010. Marijuana use in Peru also increased during that time period, from 5.6 percent to 7.5 percent.
(Marijuana prices by country.)
Source: Natalie Southwick, “Cocaine Use in Peru Increases 60% in 3 Years,” Insight Crime, November 7, 2013.
Nyaope, or Whoonga, is a street drug that is popular in South Africa. The drug is made up of various products, such as marijuana, low-grade heroin, rat poison and HIV-antiretrovirals. The drug is sold on the black market for $30 (30 South African Rand).
Health officials started to notice indicents of the drugs begiing in 2007 and have seen a rise in the number of incidents. At a single drug treatment center near Johannesburg, 63 people received treatment for nyaope addiction in April 2013. In June, the number of addicts receiving treatment increased to 134, and 223 patients were recorded in August 2013.
(Heroin prices by country.)
Source: “South Africa’s poorest hooked on cocktail of heroin and anti-HIV drugs,” NBC News, October 31, 2013.
According to a marijuana eradication task force in Fresno County, officials has identified over 500 illegal marijuana plantations growing in the Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon in Central California in the first 10 months of 2013. Security officials seized nearly 2,400 marijuana plants, over double the number of plants seized in all of 2012.
Environmental and wildlife officials are concerned about the use of pesticides by the marijuana growers. Using a poison called second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR), the growers use the chemical to keep wild animals from eating their marijuana plants. A quarter teaspoon of the pesticide has enough poison to kill a 500 pond lion, yet marijuana farmers are using up to 50 times that amount on their plants. Officials has found two endangered spotted owls that have been exposed to the chemical, along with 6 endangered Pacific Fisher mammals who have died consuming the pesticide.
Source: Elyce Kirchner, Julie Putnam, and Jeremy Carroll, “Poisoned Parks: Illegal Marijuana Growers Leave National Parks Trashed, Animals Dead,” NBC Bay Area, November 1, 2013.
In a study of global commercial truck drivers, nearly half of drivers tested postive to using alcohol when driving, and 30 percent used amphetamines to stay awake during long trips.
The study conducted by the Universidada Estadual de Londrina in Brazil found that the number of users varied widely by country. In Brazil, 91 percent of truck drivers stated that they drank alcohol while working, compared to 9 percent in Pakistan.
83 percent of truck drivers in Thailand tested positive for amphetamines, compared to 0.2 percent in Norway.
In the United States, 12.5 percent of commercial drivers tested positive for alcohol.
The Federal Highway Police in Brazil stated that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and LSD were all easily found at gas stations and rest stop locations. Brazil has the most traffic accidents in the world.
Source: Kathyrn Doyle, “Drug use high among commercial truck drivers: study,” Reuters, October 25, 2013.
Statistics from the Australian Institute for Health, Welfare, Alcohol and other drug treatment services show that there has been an increase in the number of Australians over the age of 50 receiving treatment for drug addiction.
Between the time span of 2004 to 2012, the rate of Australians over 50 receiving drug treatment for cocaine addiction increased by 247 percent.
Heroin rehab admissions increased by 138 percent.
The number of Australians between the age of 50 to 59 who received treatment for marijuana increased by 163 percent, and 231 percent for those over 60.
The biggest surge in drug treatment programs were for amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse. Australians between the age of 50 to 59 increased their treatment for amphetamine by 407 percent, and a 321 percent increase for those over 60.
(Price of marijuana worldwide.)
Source: Jackie Sinnerton and Lisa Cornish, “Drug use spikes as baby boomers return to bad habits of their youth in 1960s, with amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin,” News.com.au, OCtober 20, 2013.
According to a drug policy reform group, the illegal marijuana market in Mexico City, Mexico was worth $30 Million as of 2013.
The city was considering legalizing marijuana, which would make it the largest city in North America to legalize the use of marijuana.
(Cost of marijuana by country.)
Source: Ioan Grillo, “North America’s Largest City Moves to Legalize Pot,” Time, October 14, 2013.