Global Illicit Drug Trade
"The global value of the illicit drug trade is extremely difficult to calculate, and as a result estimates have varied dramatically. The 2005 UNODC World Drug Report estimated the worldwide drug trade at $320 billion.8 By contrast, also in 2005, in an issue of The Journal of Drug Issues, Francisco E. Thoumi stated that an unpublished 1999 study by Peter Reuter was 'probably the most serious attempt to ascertain the size of the world illegal drug market.'9 Reuter’s study estimated the value of the market at a range between $45 and $280 billion. Peter Reuter also participated in a more recent study for the European Commission which does not report 'a total estimate for all drugs globally,'10 but does find best estimates of retail revenues to be 'less than one half those of the UNODC, though there is considerable uncertainty.'11
Jeremy Haken, "Transnational Crime in the Developing World" (Washington, DC: Global Financial Integrity/Center for International Policy, Feb. 2011), p. 3.