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 2010, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration conducted raids targeting marijuana operations at 2,272 sites. In these raids, the DEA arrested 1.591 people confiscated 59,928 pounds of marijuana, and pulled 7.4 million marijuana plants.

In 2012, the DEA conducted raids at 1,784 sites and pulled 2.08 marijuana plants. However, they arrested 2,045 people and confiscated 64,920 pounds of pot.

(Pot prices by country.)

Source:  Robin Wilkey, “DEA Marijuana Raids Plummet, But Not For The Reason You Might Think,” Huffington Post, September 18, 2013.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were an estimated 1,552,432 arrests across the United States for drug-related crimes in 2012.  The number of arrests were slightly higher than the 1,531,251 arrests in 2011.

Arrests involving marijuana accounted for 48.3 percent of all drug arrests in the United States in 2012. According to the FBI data, there was one marijuana possession arrest every 48 seconds during 2012. If distribution charges are included, there was one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds.

(Cost of Marijuana by country.)

Source:  Steve Nelson, “Police Made One Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds in 2012,” US News and World Report, September 16, 2013.

A cannabis resin farmer in Afghanistan is able to earn over $1,500 in extra revenue for each hectare of farmland when compared to growing opium. According to a media report in the Guardian, growing cannabis resin requires less weeding and easier to harvest than opium .

In 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated 1,400 tonnes of commercial cannabis resin was harvested in Afghanistan. The value of the crop was around $65 Million.

(How much does marijuana cost?.)

Opium farming in Afghanistan takes up more than 10 times the land in the country that is growing cannabis.

Afghanistan provides 90 percent of the world’s opium supply.

(How much does heroin cost?)

Source:  Emma Graham-Harrison, “Afghanistan’s cannabis production rises,” Guardian, September 10, 2013.


1.9 percent of American adults in their late 50’s reported smoking marijuana back in 2002.

In 2012, the percentage of adults in that age bracket rose to 6.6 percent.

The rate of marijuana smoking by Americans in the 50 to 64 age bracket was still lower than the national rate.

7 percent of people in the United States smoked marijuana in 2011.

(Marijuana prices by country.)

Source:  Emily Alpert, “Marijuana use on the rise among young adults, fiftysomethings,” Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2013.

According to the  National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.3 percent of people in the United States over the age of 12 regularly used marijuana in 2012. The percentage of Americans using marijuana increased from 7 percent in 2011 and 5.8 percent in 2007.

9.2 percent of the US population over the age of 12 abused some sort of illegal substance in 2012, with marijuana being the most used.

(Prices of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Donna Leinwand Legar, “More Americans are using marijuana,” USA Today, September 4, 2013.

An estimated 78,000 people died from illegal drugs around the world in 2010, according to a study released in the medical journal The Lancet.

Over 55 percent of the deaths were due to overdosing on opioids, such as heroin and prescription drug abuse.

Amphetamines was the most addictive drug around the world, with an estimated 17 million addicts. 15.5 million people were addicted to opioids, and 13 million people were addicted to cannabis.

Marijuana was the most used illegal drug around the world.

(Weed prices by country.)

Source:  AFP, “Heroin, amphetamines head list of problem drugs,” GlobalPost, August 28, 2013.

A village in Albania is reported to be the drug capital of the country.

An estimated 300,000 marijuana plants are cultivated across 60 acres that could potential yield as much as 500 tons of marijuana.

Up to 7,000 residents, or 90 percent of the village population, works in the marijuana cultivation industry.

Security officials believe that up to $6 Billion of marijuana is trafficked out of the village each year.

(Costs of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Besar Likmeta, “Europe’s marijuana capital isn’t Amsterdam,” GlobalPost, August 16, 2013.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN, reported on the rate of addiction of people who use illicit drugs.

According to his article, various studies have found that up to 10 percent of marijuana users become addicted and dependent on the drug. 20 percent of cocaine users become dependent after using, and up to 25 percent of heroin users become addicted.

Nearly 30 percent of cigarette smokers become addicted to cigarettes.

(Price of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Sanjay Gupta, “Why I changed my mind on weed,” CNN, August 9, 2013.

A study conducted by the World Bank found that the economic costs to the Central America region due to organized crime violence is $6.5 Billion per year. The costs associated with the violence decreases the region’s GDP by 7.7 percent.

The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking violence on the countries GDP is as follows:

El Salvador: 10.8 percent of GDP worth $2 Billion.

Nicaragua: 10 percent of GDP worth $529 Million.

Honduras: 9.6 percent of GDP worth $885 Million.

Guatemala: 7.7 percent of GDP worth $2.2 Billion.

Costa Rica: 3.6 percent of GDP worth $791 Million.

There are 41 homicides for every 100,000 residents in Central America. 24 percent of the world’s marijuana smokers and 45 percent of the world’s cocaine users resides in Central America.

(What is racketeering?Find examples here.)

Source:  Sergio Ramos, “Central America: Organized crime costs Central America billions,” Infosurhoy, August 5, 2013.

The Chief Medical Officer of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFIA) stated that the governing body conducts over 30,000 drug tests during a typical year.

Out of those tests, between 70 to 90 tests comes back positive for banned substances. Most of the positive tests are for marijuana or cocaine.

Source:  Stefan Coerts, “FIFA blames cocaine and marijuana for failed doping tests,” Yahoo Sports, August 3, 2013.