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, there were 461,028 people who were admitted to emergency rooms in the United States for marijuana related causes.

In the same year, 11,406 people were admitted to emergency rooms across the country for synthetic marijuana related causes. In 59 percent of the cases, the synthetic marijuana was the only drug found in the person’s system, with 36 percent of the patients consuming more than one drug. 78 percent of the patients were men.

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Synthetic marijuana has grown in popularity in the United States since it was first introduced in 2008. Sold under names such as Spice and K2, they are made using a blend of herbal spices and sprayed with synthetic compounds. In a 2011 survey of high school students, marijuana was the most used drug of seniors, followed by synthetic marijuana.

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Source:  Michelle Castillo, “Synthetic marijuana sent more than 11,400 people to ER in 2010,” CBS News, December 4, 2012.

A study conducted for California’s State Highway Department found that on any given Friday or Saturday night, up to 7 percent of all drivers test positive for marijuana use. The 7 percent figure means that traces of marijuana was found in their blood, and does not mean that they were impaired to drive.

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Source:  Maia Szalavitz, “7% of California Drivers Test Positive for Marijuana, but Are They Impaired?,” Time, November 20, 2012.

As of 2012, the medical marijuana industry in the United States was generating $1.7 Billion  a year.

In the state of Colorado, the medical marijuana industry is worth $300 Million a year. With the state legalizing recreational sales of the drug in November 2012, an increase of $60 Billion in state and local taxes in expected to increase.

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Source:  Michelle Castillo, “Legal marijuana may lead to booming business in Colo.,” CBS News, November 9, 2012.


According to a six year study by the UK Drug Policy Commission, around 42,000 people in England and Wales are arrested each year for possessing illegal drugs. An additional 160,000 people are giving warnings about marijuana possession.

The report stated that the United Kingdom spends $4.8 Billion (£3 Billion) a year in fighting the illegal drug trade.

Source:  “Experts urge illegal drugs rethink,” Belfast Telegraph, October 15, 2012.

Farmers in Afghanistan grew an estimated 1,300 tons of cannabis in 2011, according to the United Nations.

Around 65,000 households in the country grow cannabis, up from the 47,000 households that were involved in the industry in 2010.

A farmer who grows cannabis in Afghanistan was able to make $95 per Kilogram of cannabis resin in 2011.

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Source:  Emma Graham-Harrison, “More Afghan families turn to cannabis cultivation,” Guardian, October 8, 2012.

Shopkeepers in the Pakistani town of Bara purchase kilograms of marijuana at prices between $530 to $690 (50,000 to 60,00 Pakistani Rupees). The price of a kilogram of marijuana increased in 2012 from the previous price of $200 (20,000 Rupees) due to violent conflicts between militants in the valley region.

Militants who set up checkpoints skim off $21 (2,00 Rupees) per kilogram of marijuana from smugglers. The smugglers themselves are able to make $52 (5,000 Rupees) per kilo, while the shopkeepers make $105 (10,000 Rupees) per kilogram of marijuana.

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Source:  Associated Press, “Pakistan conflict fueling marijuana boom,” Sunday Times, September 9, 2012.

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In 2012, poppy cultivation in Mexico for the heroin trade takes up 19,500 hectares of land.

17,500 hectares of land is devoted to growing cannabis.

50 percent of all marijuana smuggled into the United States passes through the border state of Arizona.

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Source:  Eduardo Porter, “Numbers Tell of Failure in Drug War,” New York Times, July 3, 2012.

There are over 10,000 medical marijuana users in Israel, according to a press report by NPR.

In 2005, there were only a few hundred licensed medical marijuana users in the country.

The black market price of marijuana in Israel is reported to be $1.5 per gram.

Source: Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, “Medical Marijuana Use Sprouting In Israel,” NPR, July 4, 2012.

Australia and New Zealand are reported to have the highest number of illegal drug use in the world, according to the 2012 World Drug Report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

According to criminal justice programs, people in Australia and New Zealand consume more cocaine and marijuana at a higher rate than any other country in the world. Between 9.1 and 14.6 percent of the population in the two countries use cannabis, compared to the global usage rate of 2.6 to 5.0 percent.

In New Zealand, the black market in marijuana generates $98 Million back in 2002.

The drug trade in Australia is estimated to be worth $5.5 Billion.

Source:  Paul Toohey, “Aussies the biggest recreational drug users in the world – report,” Herald Sun, June 27, 2012.

According to the 2012 World Drug Report, marijuana is the world’s most widely used illegal drug. Between 119 million to 224 million people are users of cannabis worldwide.

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Source:  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “2012 World Drug Report,” Executive Summary, June 26, 2012, page 2.