Marijuana

News, information and statistics about the illegal marijuana market. Facts about cannabis and illegal marijuana growing is collected from security agencies, user submitted information and other public criminal justice information.

In 2013, officers with various criminal justice programs in Australia charged 173 visitors of inmates with crimes for attempting to smuggling contraband into prisons. Nearly 600 people were additionally refused entry into the prison after being discovered to be carrying contraband. Most of the visitors who were charged or denied entry were women. The Commissioner of the Prison System stated that women are often pressured by their fathers, husbands, boyfriends or sons to bring in contraband when visiting.

Items prevented from entering the prisons included a total of 323 grans of marijuana, 1063 unidentified tablets, and 213 grams of unidentified powder.

In total, over 97,000 searchers were carried out by correction officers at NSW prisons in 2013.

Some of the methods of the attempted smuggling cases involved cutting out an encyclopedia to fill with drugs, filling a squash ball with marijuana and throwing the ball over the prison fence, and filling a balloon with tablets and hiding the balloon in a bra.

(More black market smuggling markets.)

Source:  Mark Morri, “Bring daddy his drugs: Smuggling crackdown in NSW prisons, as loved ones bring items in,” Telegraph Australia, January 8, 2014.

Security service officials state that Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in South America. Most of the cannabis that is produced in the country is exported to Brazil.

In 2013, the criminal justice system seized 461 tonnes of marijuana in Paraguay. The amount seized was significantly higher than the 176 tonnes of marijuana seized in 2012.

Cocaine seizures in Paraguay remained stable, as 3.3 tonnes were seized in 2013, compared to 3.1 tonnes in 2012.

(More marijuana statistics.)

Source:  “Paraguay drug seizures up by 39% in 2013,” BBC News, January 1, 2013.

In 2013, security services in Nepal arrested 129 people who were foreign nationals within the country who were trafficking drugs. The Nepalese Narcotics Bureau state that a large portion of the drugs used within the country takes place by foreign tourists visiting Katmandu, with the primary drug used being marijuana.

During the year, government security officials seized 25 tonnes of cannabis in Nepal.

The black market price of marijuana in Katmandu is reported to be about $70 for a kilogram (7,000 Nepali Rupees), which is around one-tenth the price of a kilo when compared to Western countries.

(More prices of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  “Foreign Drug Users Find Paradise In Nepal,” Bernama, December 30, 2013.

Criminal justice programs across Colombia report that synthetic drugs are more popular with users that traditional forms of illegal drugs.

In the capital of Bogota, synthetic drugs are used more often than marijuana, cocaine and heroin, according to the National Police of Colombia. A study conducted in 2013 found that there were 130 points of sale in Bogota where synthetic drugs were available for purchase.

Over 45 different types of synthetic drugs are available for users in Bogota. These pills are sold by drug dealers at a wide range of prices, depending on the substance and the time of day. The reported price for a single pill of a synthetic drugs range from $5.19 to $51.90 (10,000 to 100,000 Colombian Pesos).

In comparison, the price for a single hit of Punto Rojo marijuana in Bogota is $1 (2,000 Pesos), and a single gram of low-grade cocaine is $5.19 (10,000 Pesos).

(Cocaine prices by gram.)

Source:  Santiago Wills, “Synthetic drugs a new plague in Colombia,” Infosurhoy, December 27, 2013.

According to information submitted by readers to Havocscope,  average price to buy cocaine in Poland is $80. In the capital of Warsaw, the price of a gram of cocaine is generally more expensive and is sold on the black market for $90 to $100.  Often, cocaine is offered at a cheaper rate. However, the submitted stated that this generally means that it is not pure cocaine but rather mephedrone laced with lidocaine. The figures released by the United Nations in its World Drug Report last stated that cocaine is sold for $53 per gram.

The cost to buy marijuana was also submitted to Havocscope. The average price for a gram of weed is generally $10 in Poland, with prices going up to $20. Another submission stated that it costs $6.6 to $9.9 per gram for marijuana on the black market. The United Nations stated that marijuana costs an average of $6.6 per gram.

Source: Reader submission to Havocscope, received on December 27, 2013.

Security services across Costa Rica saw an increase in the number of illegal drugs seized across the country.

43 tons of cocaine was seized by law enforcement in 2013, an increase from the 15.6 tons of cocaine seized in 2012.

Ecstasy also saw an increase, with a total of 11,300 doses of ecstasy seized from the black market. 293 ecstasy tablets were seized the year before.

(Price of ecstasy tablets for sale on the black market.)

Researchers have also found that the use of marijuana has increased in Costa Rica. Between 2006 and 2012, the use of marijuana by residents in Costa Rica increased by 260 percent and is the most used illicit drug in the country. A popular form of marijuana in Costa Rica is the High Red Jamaican marijuana.

Source:  Ezra Fieser, “United Nations: Costa Rica is fighting organ and narco-trafficking,” Infosurhoy, December 24, 2013.

36 percent of high school seniors in the United States stated that they smoked marijuana in 2013. Over 12 percent of eight graders also smoked marijuana during the year.

Nearly 60 percent of seniors stated that they did not view marijuana use as harmful, compared to 55 percent in 2012.

According to an annual survey by Monitoring the Future, other forms of drugs, alcohol and tobacco l use by high school students declined in 2013. 40 percent of seniors stated that they drank alcohol during the year, down from 53 percent in 1997. Les than 10 percent of seniors smoked cigarettes, the first time the number has ever dropped below 10 percent. Prescription drug abuse of the painkiller Vicodin is down by half from the number of student who were abusing it, and cocaine and heroin use by all students was at all time lows in 2013.

(How much does marijuana cost?)

Source:  Anahd O’Connor, “Increasing Marijuana Use in High School Is Reported,” New York Times, Well Blog, December 18, 2013.

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.

(Latest crime in the United States data.)

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.

(More payments from illegal jobs.)

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.