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 data from the United States Customs and Border Protection, 17 million pounds of marijuana was seized on the US-Mexico border between 2005 and 2011. During that same time period, 233,000 pounds of cocaine was seized by US criminal justice agencies.

(More statistics about crime in the US.)

Source:  Marie McIntosh, “Cocaine, ‘caviar of street drugs,’ remains in high demand,” Center for Investigative Reporting, June 20, 2013.

In 2009, the Korea Customs Service discovered 150  cases of drug smuggling. In 2012, the number of cases discovered by the KCS increased to 232.

In the first five months of 2013, customs officials seized 21.7 kilograms of methamphetamine at South Korean harbors and airports. The amount of meth seized during that time frame was higher than the total amount of meth seized in 2012.  Officials also report that the number of methamphetamine trafficking groups that are using South Korea as a transportation hub is increasing as well. In 2009, just 1 kilograms of the meth seized in South Korea was destined for another country. In 2011, the amount of meth destined for a third country increased to 7.8 kilograms, and rose again to 16 kilograms in 2012.

Marijuana trafficking is also increasing in South Korea. The number of individuals attempting to smuggle marijuana into the country rose by 37 percent between January-May 2013 from the year before. The amount of the marijuana seized by 600 percent.

Source:  “Drug smuggling on the rise in S Korea,” Asia One, June 20, 2013.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported in a study that Blacks in the United States  were 3.73 greater than Whites to be arrested for marijuana crimes across the country. In some counties, the rate of Blacks being arrested was 10 to 30 times higher than whites.

Marijuana usage by both Whites and Blacks are roughly the same across the United States, according to the ACLU.

In 2001, Blacks were arrested at a rate of 537 people per 100,000. The rate of arrests for Blacks increased to 716 per 100,000 in 2010.

In 2001, Whites were arrested at a rate of 191 people per 100,000. The rate of arrests for Whites was 192 per 100,000 in 2010.

Despite the higher rate of arrests for marijuana for Blacks, due to the higher number of Whites in the country there were more arrests of Whites for marijuana crimes. 460,808 Whites were arrested for marijuana crimes in 2010, compared to 286,117 Blacks.

(Additional marijuana facts and information.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Marijuana arrests more likely for African Americans,” USA Today, June 4, 2013.


Security forces in Ecuador seized and destroyed 4.6 tons of marijuana in 2011.

In 2012, anti-narcotics agencies seized and destroyed nearly 10.7 tons of marijuana.

Source:  James Bargent, “Marijuana Production Spreading Throughout Ecuador,” Insight Crime, June 5, 2013.

According to estimates by security and intelligence agencies, an estimated 345 tons of cocaine is produced in Colombia each year. Out of this total, around 20 percent, or 70 tons, is consumed domestically in the country. The cocaine used in Colombia is generally used in a powder form or in the cheaper form of cocaine base.

640 tons of marijuana is consumed in Colombia each year, with only 30 percent of the marijuana produced in Colombia being exported to other countries.

(Price of cocaine around the world.)

Source:  James Bargent, “Growing Local Drug Market Fuels Colombia’s Underworld,” Insight Crime, May 29, 2013.

In 2010, states across America spent an estimated $3.6 Billion during the year in enforcing marijuana laws and arresting users. The amount of money spent by criminal justice programs in the states was 30 percent higher than the amount spend in 2000.

About half of all drug arrests in 2010 and 2011 were on marijuana-related offenses.

Source:  Ian Urbina, “Blacks Are Singled Out for Marijuana Arrests, Federal Data Suggests,” New York Times, June 3, 2013.

Additional security threats and crimes in the United States.

Police in Uganda arrested 780 people for drug crimes and had 312 people convicted in the criminal justice system in 2012.

3 people were convicted in the country for cannabis farming, 6 people were arrested for marijuana crimes, and 48 acres of cannabis were destroyed during the year. An addition 70 kilograms of cannabis seeds were seized by police.

Officials state that marijuana cultivation is increasing in Uganda as farmers view it as a cash crop. Some land owners rent out their land to marijuana farmers.

Security personnel also destroyed over 2,257 kilograms for marijuana and 20 kilograms of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine that it has previously seized.

In a report by Planet Money of NPR, a Special Agent with the California Department of Justice stated that an estimated 1 in 15 packages that are being shipped out of the State of California is filled with marijuana that was grown in the state.

Officials say the cause for the increase in marijuana being shipped out of state is due to the increase in cultivation from medical marijuana growers.

The Planet Money team also interviewed a marijuana dealer who moved out of California due to the high levels of competition and difficulty in making a profit. As of May 2013, the dealer was selling an eight of an ounce of marijuana in New York City for $60. Back in California, that same eight would probably be sold for $30 to $45.

(Marijuana prices by country.)

Source:  Marianne McCune, “Go East, Young Marijuana Dealer,” NPR, Planet Money, May 22, 2013.

According to a federal agents, a prison gang was operating a racket within the Baltimore City Detention Center in the state of Maryland. Documents filed in federal court by the FBI stated that one gram bags of marijuana were being sold in the jail for $50. Pain killers were being sold for $30 a pill to inmates.

(Police corruption and the effects on governments.)

In addition to the contraband drugs, female corrections officers were having sex with the inmates. According to the FBI, four correction officers became pregnant from one inmate.

In an article in the Washington Post, the article says that the names of 14 female guards were written on a wall and that each woman was charging $150 to have sex with an inmate.

(See additional illegal prostitution prices.)

Source:  Theresa Vargas, Ann E. Marimow and Annys Shin, “Baltimore jail case depicts a corrupt culture driven by drugs, money and sex,” Washington Post, May 4, 2013.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

In 2012, police in New York City arrested 40,661 people for marijuana charges in the city. In 2011, there were 52,220 marijuana arrests, and 52,089 arrests in 2010.

In the first four months of 2013, there were roughly 10,000 arrests for marijuana crimes in New York City.

Across New York State, authorities seized 210 kilos during 2012, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2010, officials seized 2,500 kilos of marijuana.

(All United States crime statistics.)

Source:  Brad Hamilton, “‘High’ tolerance: NYC on the road to decriminalizing pot,” New York Post, May 13, 2013.