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.

According to a survey conducted by Gallop, up to 38 percent of people in the United States have tried marijuana at least once in their lifetime as of 2013.

The number of respondents who claimed to have tried marijuana was up slightly from the 33 percent rate in 1985 and the 34 percent rate in 1999.

In 2013, the number of people who tried marijuana  in the 18 to 29 age bracket was 36 percent. In the 30 to 49 age bracket, the rate was 49 percent. 44 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 used marijuana, and 17 percent of those over 65 used it at least once in their lifetime.

Source: Lydia Saad, “In U.S., 38% Have Tried Marijuana, Little Changed Since ’80s,” Gallop, August 2, 2013.

In the first six months of 2013, police in the US city of Denver, Colorado issued 423 citations for public marijuana consumption.

In 2012, the police department issued 1,600 citations throughout the entire year.

Since 2013, residents aged 21 and over are able to have up to one ounce of marijuana legally.

(Marijuana prices by country.)

Source:  John Ingold, “Public marijuana use is illegal but seldom punished in Denver,” Denver Post,

23 states across the United States reported seizing marijuana in 2012 that was originally grown in Colorado, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

A pound of medical-grade marijuana grown in Colorado is sold for around $1,500 in the state. If that marijuana is sold in the Eastern United States, where it is still illegal, the pound is sold for double the price.

In neighboring Kansas, 84 percent of the marijuana seized in 2013 is medical-grade. In previous years, 70 percent of the marijuana was “pressed”, which was mostly grown and trafficked from Mexico.

In the first five months of 2013, law enforcement in Kansas seized 2,654 pounds of marijuana and arrested 187 people for drug trafficking charges. 79 of the drug seizures involved marijuana from Colorado, followed by 35 cases of California grown weed.

Source:  Associated Press, “Kansas at crossroads of marijuana trafficking,” Wichita Eagle, July 27, 2013.

Buy VPN

According to security officials in Australia, the indoor marijuana growing industry in the country is worth $1.85 Million (2 Million Australian Dollars) per year.

The marijuana is grown by organized crime gangs that use empty residential houses to grow the illicit drug on a commercial scale. Immigration officials state that many people from Vietnam are brought over to the country by human smugglers in order to work in the cannabis cultivation industry.

Police in Victoria stated that nearly 50 percent of people who were charged for marijuana cultivation were from Vietnam.

Source:  Samantha Maiden, “Crime syndicates importing Vietnamese asylum seekers to grow marijuana and work in brothels,” News.com.au, July 28, 2013.

There are at least 800,000 people in Morocco who make a living cultivating illegal marijuana in the country.

The amount of money generated by the illegal marijuana crop in Morocco is estimated to be worth $10 Billion, or 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

(More illegal ways to make money.)

In 2003, there were 137,000 hectares of cannabis planted around the country. In 2010, the amount of hectares devoted to marijuana cultivation decreased to 47,000.

One hectare can yield between 5 to 6 kilograms of cannabis resin per year.

(Prices of marijuana by country.)

Source:  Souhail Karam, “Moroccan Marijuana Fix Sought to Cultivate Exports,” Bloomberg, July 26, 2013.

Half of the deforestation activities that took place in 9 forest reserves in Nigeria between 2010 and 2012 were due to marijuana cultivation.

According to a survey conducted by the Southwest/Niger Delta Forest Project, cannabis growers in the region can earn over 2 to 3 times more money that they would have earned though food crops.

(Price of marijuana around the world.)

Source:  Liz Kimbrough, “Illegal marijuana cultivation threatens Nigeria’s forests and chimps,” Mongabay.com, July 26, 2013.

Between January and June 2013, security officials in Algeria seized 78 tons of cannabis resin in the country.

The amount seized was higher than the 71 tons of marijuana that was seized during the first half of 2012.

Most of the cannabis products that enter Algeria is trafficked from neighboring Morocco.

Source:  Lamine Chikhi, “Algeria puts army in charge of fighting drug trafficking,” Reuters, July 25, 2013.

Over 30,000 people in Canada are authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2010, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found that 70 medical marijuana license holders were violating their agreement. Out of the 70, the RCMP found that in 40 of the cases the individual was trafficking marijuana for profit.

(See more marijuana facts here.)

In a declassified intelligence report, the RCMP stated that marijuana users were using a family member without a criminal conviction to obtain the medical license, and that organized crime groups were using associates to obtain licenses.  One case highlighted by the RCMP found that an individual with a medical marijuana license was growing up to 80 kilograms a year and producing marijuana worth $618,000 (650,000 Canadian) a year.

In a separate media report, another individual stated that he made about $114,000 (120,000 CAD) a year selling the marijuana that he cultivated from his medical marijuana license.

(Marijuana prices around the world.)

Source:  Jim Bronskill, “Medical marijuana: Crime networks exploiting Canada’s program, RCMP says,” Toronto Star, July 3, 2013.

Criminal justice programs in Colombia reported that 786 criminal gangs were broken up within the country in 2012. In addition to the actions against the organized crime groups, police and security services captured 242 drug traffickers and extradited 192 traffickers to foreign nations.

40 drug trafficking networks were also dismantled by police.

Police also reported on actions targeting microtrafficking, or street level drug dealing. Through their operations, government security agents seized 99,184 kilograms of cocaine, 132,182 tablets of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, and 292,220 kilograms of marijuana.

2,038 people who involved in kidnapping and ransom incidents were also arrested in 2012.

Source:  James Bargent, “Colombia Police Dismantle 100s of Gangs in 2012,” Insight Crime, June 21, 2013.

According to  Washington’s Office of Financial Management, the state plans on taxing legal marijuana 25 percent at the point of sale for the consumer.

Producers are estimated to sell legal marijuana for $3 per gram to processors, who are forecast to charge retailer $6 per gram.

The retailers will then charge customers $12 per gram before taxes, meaning that the final price paid by customers buying legal marijuana in the state of Washington would be $16 per gram.

(Illegal marijuana prices worldwide.)

Source:  Alison Vekshin, “Washington Races Colorado for Billions in Pot-Tax Revenue,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 24, 2013.