Marijuana Statistics

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  1. Illegal Marijuana Market Value$141.80 Billion

Latest information about the black market in marijuana. Statistics on abuse, cultivation and trafficking is collected from government security services, drug treatment centers, public health programs and global health alerts.

In early 2014, federal security administrators reported that more heroin grown and produced in Mexico was entering the United States. Officials stated that this was occurring due to the decrease in marijuana that was being sold by Mexican traffickers.

Based on intelligence and media interviews, the wholesale price of marijuana sold in Mexico has dropped within the past 5 years. In 2009, a farmer growing marijuana in Mexico was able to receive up to $100 per kilogram of wholesale marijuana. By 2014, the wholesale price of marijuana dropped to less than $25. Farmers state that the push towards marijuana legalization has contributed to the downfall as more people buy higher-quality marijuana that was grown in the United States.

As the price of marijuana decreased, Mexican drug cartel have begun looking for new revenue streams. It appears as if they have found a replacement in heroin.

With reports from criminal justice programs stating that heroin abuse increased by 79 percent in the US between 2007 and 2012, Mexican cartels are increasing their supply in order to meet demand. Back in 2007, border security agents seized 367 kilograms of heroin that was being smuggled into the United States from Mexico. In 2013, security agents seized 2,162 kilograms.

A contributing factor to the high heroin abuse rates in the US is driven by prescription drugs abuse. With heroin being cheaper than prescription drugs, many users are continually switching to heroin due to its cheaper cost. For example, a prescription drug sold on the black market in can be sold for up to $80, with the effect of the pill wearing off after 4 to 6 hours. A hit of heroin can be sold for as little as $4.

Farm workers in Mexico are cashing in from the increase in heroin demand. Farmers in the Northern Sierra Madre earn up to $30 to $40 per day cultivating poppies on farmland. The poppy farm is reportedly the best paid farm in Northern Mexico.

Farmers sell a kilogram of opium for $1,500. The wholesale price has doubled in 2013 from the year before. The raw opium is sold to middlemen who cook the opium into heroin. After being smuggled across the border, a kilogram in the Northern United States can be sold for $60,000 to $80,000.

(How much does heroin cost per gram?)

Source:  Nick Miroff, “Tracing the U.S. heroin surge back south of the border as Mexican cannabis output falls,” Washington Post, April 6, 2014.

According to a former heroin abuser in Ireland, the following information is the street prices of illegal drugs available for sale on the black market of Ireland.

Cocaine:  High quality cocaine sold for €100 ($138) per gram.

Ecstasy: €5 ($6.93) per tablet, or 10 ecstasy tablets for €40 ($55).

Heroin: A bag of heroin that is filled with 0.3 grams of heroin is sold for €20 ($27). The price to buy 2 grams of heroin is €100 ($138).

Marijuana: Poor quality cannabis resin is reportedly sold in 7 gram batches, which is available for purchase for €25 ($34). Marijuana weed is sold in 6 gram units, which goes for €100 ($138).

Prescription drugs: 2 milligrams Xanax bars sold for €3.50 ($4.85) for each tablet.

(See all of crowdsourced data about the black market here.)

Source:  User submitted data, received on April 1, 2014.

Previously, a reader submitted information about the price of marijuana in Stockholm, Sweden. In that data post, the reader explained the price structure of the marijuana market in Stockholm.

In a follow up submission, more information about the marijuana trafficking and growing operations that takes place in Sweden. According to our reader, Swedish marijuana is grown across the entire country. However, with criminal justice programs targeting growers in the major cities, more marijuana cultivation plants have moved to the countryside. There have also been reports of various organized crime groups being involved in large scale marijuana cultivation farms, such as the Vietnamese Mafia, Albanian and Kurdish gangs, as well as outlawed motorcycle gangs.

Marijuana that is trafficked into the country is brought in from Denmark, Germany and Poland. Small growers in Sweden are attempting to grow their own weed in order to lower the amount of marijuana that is trafficked by organized crime.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

Source: User submitted data, received by Havocscope on March 24, 2014.

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In 2013, criminal justice officials in the United States estimated that between $19 Billion to $29 Billion is being smuggled down to Mexico from illegal drug sales in the United States. The sales and revenue from marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is included in that total.

In terms of enforcement, the US Immigration ad Customs Enforcement seized $411 Million in cash that was being transported into Mexico.

The Former Governor of Sinaloa stated that up to 62 percent of the economy in Sinaloa was based on drug trafficking money.

Many of the drug cartels invest in legitimate businesses in order to launder their illicit proceeds. Cartels place investments into shopping centers, hotels, residential developments and various types of economic activities.

Source:  John Burnett, “At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South,” NPR News, March 20, 2014.

Government security agencies estimate that up to 15,000 hectares land across Jamaica is dedicated to the growing of marijuana.  The plant is grown in all 14 parishes of the country in areas that are hidden from the general public. Many of the grow operations take place in small plots scattered across mountain areas.

According to the US State Department’s 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Jamaica is the top Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and other Caribbean countries.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

In 2013, security forces in Jamaica eradicated 247 hectares of marijuana fields, destroyed 1.9 million cannabis seedlings, and seized 285 kilograms of seeds. Back in 2012, 711 hectares were eradicated, 2.5 million seedlings were destroyed and 785 kilograms of seeds were destroyed.

Source:  “Jamaica largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the US, report says,” Jamaica Observer, March 4, 2014.

According to data released by criminal justice programs, India is a main supplier of illegal narcotics to countries in South Asia.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) reported that drugs and ingredients from India’s pharmaceutical industry is diverted to the black market. The illicit pharmaceutical pills are either trafficked domestically or smuggled on to the global black market.

In addition to prescription drugs, India provides most of the heroin that is consumed in Bangladesh. Most of the cannabis that is consumed in Bangladesh and Nepal is also produced in India and smuggled across the border.

Most of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine uses to make meth in Myanmar is believed to have originated from India as well.

The rate of opium seizures in India has grown in the last three years. In 2009, government security agencies seized about 1.7 tonnes of opium in India. In 2012, over 3 tonnes of opium was seized.

14 kilograms of cocaine was seized in India in 2011. In 2012, the amount of cocaine seized tripled to 42 kilograms.

Source:  “Prescription drug abuse growing in India: UN report,” Indian Express, March 5, 2014.

A reader of Havocscope submitted the following information through our Submit Data form.

According to our reader, marijuana is sold for $15.56 to $18.67 (100 to 120 Swedish Krona).  The marijuana is available for sale in bags filled with 4 to 5 grams of marijuana. The 4 gram bags are sold for 500 Krona ($77.80), and the 5 gram bags for 600 Krona ($93.36).

Back around 2005 or 2008, the price of marijuana in Stockholm increased from 500 Krona for 5 grams  (100 kr per gram) to 600 Krona for 5 grams (120 kr per gram).

Wholesale prices for marijuana in Stockholm is between $3,900 to $6,260 (25,000 Krona to 40,000 Krona). 100 grams of marijuana is sold around $940 to $1,410 (6,000 to 9,000 Krona).

(See more marijuana prices from around the world.)

(See all Crowdsourced data about the black market.)

Source:  User Submitted Data, received by Havocscope on February 27, 2014. Updated on March 7, 2014.

The following is the top ten states that had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths based on 100,000 people.

The data was collected by the National Center for Health Statistics and the WONDER Online Database. The data is based on deaths in 2010.

1. West Virginia (28.9 deaths per 100,000 people.)

2. New Mexico (23.8)

3. Kentucky (23.6)

4. Nevada (20.7)

5. Oklahoma (19.4)

6. Arizona (17.5)

7. Missouri (17)

8. (tie) Tennessee and Utah (16.9)

10. Delaware (16.6)

Source:  Michael Ollove, “States combat alarming drug overdose deaths,” USA Today, February 20, 2014.

According to criminal justice programs in India, sales of illegal drugs in Goa, India is worth $950 Million a year.

The types of drugs sold in the Western state includes all major drugs such as cocaine, ecstasyheroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Drug trafficking in the popular tourist areas were previously controlled by organized crime gangs with members from Britain, Israel, Russia, as well as domestic Indian gangs.

Since 2009, security intelligence and arrests have shown that there have been an increase in trafficking gangs from Nigeria. Between 2010 and 2013, police in Goa arrested 189 Nigerians for crimes such as drug trafficking or lacking proper visas and travel documents. Roughly 40 percent of all foreigners arrested for trafficking illegal drugs in Goa was from Nigeria.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Rama Lakshmi, “Tourism crisis on India’s ‘cocaine coast’,” Toronto Star, February 15, 2014.

According to data analyzed by NBC News, there are roughly 325 marijuana companies licensed to operate marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Colorado. Between 2011 and 2013, there have been about 317 burglaries and 7 robberies reported by these companies during the two year period. Thus, the annual robbery and burglary rate is about 50 percent.

On average, every marijuana-related business in the city of Denver can expect to be robbed or burglarized at least once every two years.

The rate of crime has lead to a new industry of provided security services to weed dispensaries. One company, the Blue Line Protection Group, was formed in August 2013 by a former veteran who served in Afghanistan. The company has landed about 30 contracts to provide security to marijuana shops. The company employs over 40 security guards, many of which have special ops experience. The company charges between $5,000 to $15,000 for its security protection.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

Source:  Tony Dokoupil and Bill Briggs, “High Crimes: Robber Gangs Terrorize Colorado Pot Shops,” NBC News, February 5, 2014.