Friday, July 01, 2005

UN report shows world economy depends on drugs

Scott at Grits for Breakfast posted on this new report before I had a chance to, so I'll direct you to his post on the statistics released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The report reveals that the black market drug trade equals almost 1% of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

That doesn't sound like much until you realize that's "greater than the total GDP of 163 countries, or 88% of the countries in the world!"

Scott also finds some significant figures I missed in my initial scan of the report.
Illicit drugs enjoyed a robust $322 billion in retail sales in 2003, the U.N. reported, with 44% of that market, or about $142 billion, in North America, mostly the United States. That's an awful lot of lost tax revenue. This is the first time the U.N. has estimated the economic scope of the international drug trade.

Most astonishing: Illegal drugs constitute 14% of total world agricultural exports. That means, practically speaking, if the pipe dream of stopping the drug trade ever actually succeeded, much of the world economy from Bolivia to Afghanistan to Northern California would collapse into global depression.
Only a little over a third of that market is in marijuana. So why are the US feds making that the cornerstone of their war on some drugs plants?

The full report is available here. [hat tip to Doug McVay]


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home