Consumption of illicit drugs is widespread globally.The illicit drugs trade (also referred to as the illegal drugs trade or drug trafficking) is one of the largest global businesses, at $322 billion.
With a world GDP of US$36 trillion, the illicit drug trade may be estimated as the world's largest traded goods.
It attracts criminal organizations because the potential profits are significantly more than from other criminal commodities like Conflict diamonds, Firearms, and Human Trafficking. It is also a global issue because, in many instances, the single most profitable sector of the market is the process of transporting the drugs internationally. The funds raised by trafficking groups can be used to underwrite other criminal activity and even political insurgencies.
The main illicit drugs are the opiates (mostly heroin), cocaine, cannabis, and ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants) such as methamphetamine and ecstasy.
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Among those substances classified as ‘drugs of abuse’ is marijuana(cannabis). Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. Extracts with high amounts of THC can also be made from the cannabis plant.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the entire world. Its use is widespread among young people. According to a yearly survey of middle and high school students, rates of marijuana use have steadied in the past few years after several years of increase. However, the number of young people who believe marijuana use is risky is decreasing.
Legalization of marijuana for medical use or adult recreational use in a growing number of states may affect these views. In addition, use of marijuana is tolerated in some areas, most notably the Netherlands, Uruguay, Canada and many states in the US are (considering) legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
But, there is still a huge market for this drug, the illegal marijuana market value is a whopping $141.80 Billion with as many as 164 million people using marijuana around the world.
For more information on the illegal marijuana market and facts about the black market, please visit: http://www.havocscope.com/category/substance-abuse/
According to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board, over 1,000 tons of marijuana is seized by United States security agents along the US / Mexico border each year.
Over 80 million people living in Europe are estimated to have used an illegal drug at some point in their lives.
In the most recent year measured (2012), the report stated that 18.1 million used marijuana. A total of 2,000 tons of marijuana and hashish is consumed in the EU each year.
Testing of Marijuana samples using zNose®:
The distinguishing features of multi-compound fragrances associated with material suspected of containing cannabis may be verified if it contains the physiologically active ingredients such as THC. A peak identification or pattern recognition algorithm coupled with a fast SAW/GC allows suspect samples to be screened at rapid rate.
Information as to the physical composition of each sample may also be used to quantify the potency and possible origin of the contraband material. zNose® is equipped with a special user interface for unskilled users. The new user interface transforms the analytical chromatogram picture into a simple array of detection alarms
zNose® has been field tested in applications involving drugs of abuse for the U.S. Customs and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), explosives for the Federal Aviation Administration, and currency detection for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. These examples represent only a small fraction of law enforcement applications.
By keeping a control on drug trafficking and taking proper measures can help the world become less chaotic with no money for the criminal organizations to fund their other activities.