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.

According to a government report, one out of every 15 high school students in the United States smokes marijuana on a near daily basis in 2011.

10th graders in the country smoke more marijuana than cigarettes.

(See all marijuana facts and statistics here.)

Source: Anahad O’Connor, “Marijuana Use Growing Among Teenagers,” New York Times, Well, December 14, 2011.

Federal officials in the United States report that it costs up to $15,000 per acre to clean up and restore areas in national parks and forests that were used by drug trafficking cartels to grow marijuana.

(More security threats and crime in the United States.)

Source: Rheana Murry, “Marijuana growers killing national forests and parks, U.S. Forest Service says,” New York Daily News, December 12, 2011.

Nearly 50 percent of all marijuana smuggled into the United States from Mexico enters the country and passes through the state of Arizona.

Source: JJ Hensley, “Heroin industry growing in Arizona,” Arizona Republic, December 9, 2011.


Over 17 million people in the United States smoked marijuana in 2010, three million more people then the number of users in 2007.

(More marijuana statistics and facts here.)

Source: Shannon K. O’neil, “Trends in U.S. Drug Use,” Council on Foreign Relations, Latin America’s Moment, December 8, 2011.

Mexico’s Defense Department reported in December 2011 that it captured 11,544 people with links to drug smuggling and organized crime groups during the  year.

The military also reported that it destroyed almost 14,800 hectares of poppy and nearly 12,600 hectares of marijuana in 2010.

(See all statistics about the illegal Mexican economy.)

Source: Geoffrey Ramsey, “Mexico’s 2011 Drug War Statistics Show Drop in Seizures,” InSight, December 5, 2011.

78 million people living in the European Union, or 20 percent of all Europeans, have tried marijuana at least once in their life. In 2010, around 22.5 million people living in the European Union used marijuana.

(Marijuana prices in Europe and around the world.)

Source: Alan Travis, ” Rise in use of cocaine has peaked, says EU drug agency report,” Guardian, November 15, 2011.

New York City police arrest around 50,000 people ever year for marijuana possession, leading to one out of every seven case in the city’s criminal court system.

Source: Associated Press, “A Little Pot Is Trouble In NYC: 50k Busts A Year,” NPR, November 5, 2011.

Federal law enforcement officials in the United States broke up a drug smuggling ring on the border of Arizona and Mexico in October 2011. Over the course of five years, the drug smuggling ring was estimated to have made over $2 Billion in profit from smuggling over 3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine, and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States.

Source: Marc Lacy, “76 Arrested as Officials Break Up Mexico-to-Arizona Drug-Smuggling Ring,” New York Times, October 31, 2011.

According to sheriffs in California, a single marijuana plant grown in California is sold for $4,000 to buyers out-of-state.

(Additional marijuana prices.)

Source: Sasha Khokha, “Where The Marijuana Grows: Feds Target Landowners,” NPR, October 25, 2011.

(More United States black market statistics.)

Between 1997 and 2005, around one out of every six people arrested for operating a marijuana growing operation in Canada received jail time, according to a Justice Department study.

Out of the 415 marijuana growers convicted during the course of the study, 39 percent paid fines, 35 percent received conditional sentences, and 16 percent faced incarceration.

The grow-ops studied by the report had an average of 253 marijuana plants at each location, with the smallest having just two plants and the largest growing 3,629 marijuana plants.

(Price of marijuana by country.)

Source: Dean Beeby, “Only one in six convicted in grow-op cases goes to jail, study finds,” Globe and Mail, October 24, 2011.