HomeNewsBriefGlobal Marijuana Map Shows Trends in LatAm Trade
BRIEF

Global Marijuana Map Shows Trends in LatAm Trade

DRUG POLICY / 24 OCT 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

A map showing world marijuana use and prices indicates that, in Latin America at least, both of these factors are more affected by the availability of the drug than the legal regime governing its use.

The interactive map, published by the Guardian (see static rendition below), shows that Chile and Panama have mainland Latin America’s highest retail marijuana prices, with the drug costing $10 or more per gram. The retail price of marijuana is also higher in Paraguay — South America’s biggest marijuana producer — than in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico have the region’s lowest prices, at under $1 per gram.

Paraguay is the country with the lowest wholesale price, at $20 per kilo, followed by Colombia, where the wholesale price is $40.3 per kilo. Panama, despite having one of the highest retail prices, has the third lowest wholesale price, at $50 per kilo.

With the exceptions of Guatemala and Brazil, the countries with the cheapest retail marijuana also have the lowest percentage of users, at under 3 percent of residents aged 15 to 64. Use is heaviest in Brazil and Uruguay, with over eight percent of residents using marijuana.

marijuanamap

InSight Crime Analysis

The map indicates there is little correlation between marijuana prices and rates of use. Both these factors are likely fed instead by the availability of marijuana.

Mexico and Colombia are major marijuana producers. While Mexico is one of the world’s biggest marijuana suppliers though, a significant amount stays in the country. In Colombia, around 70 percent of marijuana produced is destined for the internal consumer market.

Most of the marijuana produced in Paraguay, meanwhile, is pumped into the large consumer markets of neighboring Brazil and Uruguay, which could explain the higher retail price in Paraguay compared to Brazil (perhaps the equivalent of paying higher prices for good coffee in Guatemala, since most of the coffee is exported).

SEE ALSO: Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Part of the explanation for Chile’s high prices could be related to increased police seizures. In 2010, the Santiago Times reported a tripling of marijuana prices, following a 107 percent rise in seizures in preceding years.

Legality also appears to have little connection to price or use rates. According to the map, private consumption and cultivation is legal in Chile, yet Chile has some of the region’s highest prices. Brazil and Uruguay have similarly high use rates, but personal use and possession is legal and not capped in Uruguay, while possession of large amounts is punishable in Brazil with up to 15 years in prison.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 5 NOV 2014

In an operation that saw dozens arrested across four states, authorities in Brazil targeted a crime ring that allegedly provided…

COCA / 1 APR 2019

The government’s failure to comply with the coca crops substitution program in Colombia has left the future of almost 100,000…

COLOMBIA / 31 JUL 2017

When Latin America's oldest insurgency, the FARC, officially becomes a political party, their cousins in the ELN will assume the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…