If you watch the news regularly, you will surely be familiar with the activities in these 8 countries that produce the most illegal drugs in the world. Illegal drugs producing business is more lucrative than ever, and there are a lot of people fighting for their piece of the cake.
It is estimated that illegal drug business is worth well over $300 billion, with a widespread network of producers, sellers, and consumers all over the world. Illegal drugs manufacturing is a serious business with lots of people involved. For example, in Mexico, 500 cities are directly involved in the drug producing business while at least 500,000 people are employed by drug cartels. The best indicator that shows how big illegal drug business is may be the fact that in large illegal drugs producing countries, that business affects the economy of the country on large scales.
Countries’ governments and international organizations have been putting more efforts than ever to try and stop the illegal drug production and trade but with no particular success. It seems that producers are always one step ahead and regularly find new ways to hide their production and smuggle the drugs all over the world. When it comes to illegal drugs that are predominant in the production, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine are among the leading substances both in trade and in production.
To find our 8 countries that produce the most illegal drugs in the world, we looked at UNODC’s (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) World Drug Report for 2015. Since there were no joint data on overall illegal drug production in particular countries, we took the top producing countries for cannabis, opium, and cocaine and assigned them points based on their ranking. After summing up the data into the Drug Score, we got our list.
If you want to find out more about drug trends in the world, be sure to check out our list of 11 most drug addicted countries in the world.
Drug Score: 7
Laos or Lao People’s Democratic Republic was a major opium producing country in the 90s, but since then, there has been a decline through the 2000s thanks to the activities of the government.
Drug Score: 8
Bolivia is one of the three major producing countries of cocaine in the world. It is estimated that since 2003, coca bush cultivation goes around 23,000 hectares per year.
Drug Score: 9
Myanmar is world’s second largest opium producer in the world. It is estimated that production will continue to rise, since there is a large demand for heroin and criminal organizations are making huge profits. It is estimated that opium cultivation in Myanmar reached 57,600 hectares in 2014.
Drug Score: 10
An interesting fact is that cannabis is illegal in Morocco since 1957 but it is largely tolerated. Due to this fact, Morocco is probably the world’s largest cannabis producer taking in consideration cultivated areas and total production alongside the numbers of eradicated fields.
Drug Score: 10
Peru has been world’s top cocaine-producing country for years with production reaching 340 tons of cocaine. Just in 1992, Peru was producing 60% of all world’s cocaine. Now, in the 2014 and 2015 government has “rolled up their sleeves” and production has declined, making Peru world’s second largest cocaine producer.
Drug Score: 14
Thanks to the combined opium and cannabis production, Mexico has reached the third place on our list of 8 countries that produce the most illegal drugs in the world. Anyone barely familiar with the situation in Mexico knows that illegal drugs production and distribution make enormous problems for the state, with cartel wars raging almost every day.
Drug Score: 17
Colombia has increased its output of cocaine in 2014 and 2015, claiming the place of world’s largest cocaine producer. According to the “UNODC” report, “coca cultivation in Colombia jumped to 69,000 hectares last year, a 44 percent increase from 2013”. An interesting fact about Colombia’s cocaine production is that “70% of all coca crops are seen in areas controlled by the left-wing guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.”
Drug Score: 19
Although leading illegal drug force on our list of 8 countries that produce the most illegal drugs in the world may come as a surprise, Afghanistan surely deserves this title. For years now, this country produces the largest quantities of opium in the world, while also increasing its cannabis output, being regularly among the top cannabis producing countries in the world.