U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Analysis of the Domestic Cannabis Problem and the Federal Response

NCJ Number
Date Published
83 pages
Marijuana is discussed with respect to its cultivation in the United States, related policy issues, drug law enforcement initiatives, and possible ways to strengthen the national program.
Approximately 22 million people are current marijuana users, but daily use among high school seniors has declined an estimated 6 percent since 1978. The social costs of marijuana use are borne by everyone and include increased traffic and industrial accidents, productivity losses, violence among competing growers, environmental damage, and adverse health consequences for users. Domestic production accounts for about 12 percent of the total supply in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression program involves Federal, State, and local agencies in all 50 States and accounts for approximately 1 percent of the DEA budget. The Federal effort is largely confined to assisting the States in eradication activities. The focus on eradication has reduced attention to intelligence collection. However, the emergence of multi-state criminal organizations, the trend toward indoor commercial operations, and the difficulties of enforcement in rural areas all point to the need for Federal assistance. Recommended actions include strengthening investigation and prosecution, improving eradication efforts, and expanding domestic public support and foreign cooperation in drug law enforcement. Tables, figure, footnotes, and appended reports on the study methodology and marijuana's health effects