The ridiculous profitability of illegal drugs, in one chart (VOX Media)

Updated By GERMAN LOPEZ | November 10, 2014

This graphic, from the team at Information Is Beautiful, charts out just how valuable illegal drugs are compared to other crops:

This graphic, from the team at Information Is Beautiful, charts out just how valuable illegal drugs are compared to other crops:

The illicit drug market is immensely profitable — lucrative enough to finance the violent activities of criminal organizations around the world, particularly drug cartels in Latin America.

The prices of illicit drugs would very likely plummet if any of them were legalized. That’s why Mark Kleiman, drug policy expert at UCLA, expects the cost of producing and shipping marijuana to drop to match other crops, such as tobacco or tea, following marijuana legalization. That would help run many criminal organizations, which can’t compete with the lower prices, out of business, but it could also lead to the increased access and commercialization of marijuana.

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