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Mass of US Marijuana Production

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Goldberg, Ray. "Species of Marijuana: Point of Origin." Drugs Across the Spectrum. 5th, Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2006: 242-243. "It is estimated that 5,000 metric tons of marijuana come into the United States from Mexico, 1,000 tons come from Canada, and 2,500 metric tons are produced domestically." 2,500,000 kg
Gettman, Jon. Marijuana Production in the United States (2006). The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform. 36, 2, December 2006: 1-28.
Appendix 3b Total Marijuana Cultivation, by State
Total Plants Total Production (lbs) Total Value ($1000s)
56,412,611 22,293,643 $35,803,591
10,112,226 kg
Harrison, Lana D., Michael Backenheimer and James A. Inciardi. Marijuana Supply, Sales, and Seizure. Cannabis use in the United States: Implications for policy. Peter Cohen & Arjan Sas (Eds)1996, 231-236.
Table 7. DEA Estimates of Domestic Marijuana Production
for 1988 to 1992 in Metric Tons.
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
6,000,000 kg
1997 Marijuana Production Estimates: State by State Assessment. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), 30 March 2002.
Production Weight
Value to Growers
4,055,365 32% 8,762,002 5,476,252 $15,142,203
2,483,986 kg

The most widely abused illegal drug in the United States, consumed by numerous teenagers under 18… this description represents no other than the psychoactive drug marijuana.

Marijuana, commonly known as grass, pot, and weed, comes from the mixture of leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. This plant grows wild throughout many regions, especially in Mexico and Canada. Containing more than 400 chemicals, marijuana contains the psychoactive chemical called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Usually smoked as a cigarette or a pipe, the effects marijuana has on the human body are destructive. Such effects range from impaired short-term memory, concentration, attention, judgment, coordination and balance to long term impaired learning skills and memory difficulties.

Most of the marijuana produced in the United States is imported from Mexico, Columbia, and Canada. According to the references above, the total marijuana production in the United States have been generally decreasing over the years, from 4,850,000 kg in 1988 to 2,595,000 kg in 1992. In Mexico, marijuana production was stated to have decreased by 3% from 2003 to 2005. However, with the improvement in marijuana cultivation methods and the increase in the number of grow sites; marijuana production reached a peak in 2006, totaling up to 10,112,226 kg and is continuously increasing at a steady rate.

Often smuggled into the country from Mexico and Canada by criminal groups, it is no wonder that issues regarding the legalization of marijuana are raised. As a matter of fact, tons of marijuana have been seized and eradicated over the years. For example, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized 282,139 kg of marijuana. However, with increases in production from these two states along with the overall domestic production in the United States, seizures will continue to take place and the question regarding the legality of marijuana will continue to remain an issue.

Shirly Tam -- 2008