Part 5—Marijuana

The 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is a comprehensive assessment of the threat posed to the United States by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs, the diversion and abuse of licit drugs, and the laundering of proceeds generated through illicit drug sales. It also addresses the role domestic groups, including organized violent gangs, serve in domestic drug trafficking. The most widely trafficked drugs are discussed in terms of their availability, consumption and overdose related deaths, production and cultivation, transportation, and distribution.
The full report may be viewed at default/files/2021-02/DIR-008-21%202020% 20National%20Drug%20Threat%20Assessment_WEB.pdf
The report is divided into the following sections: Illicit Opioids and Heroin; Methamphetamine; Cocaine; Controlled prescription drugs; Marijuana; New psychoactive substances; Transnational criminal organizations; Drug threat in U.S. Territories and in Indian Country and Illicit finance. A summary of each  section will be published each week.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. The national landscape continues to evolve as states enact voter referenda and legislation regarding the possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana and its associated products. The prevalence of marijuana use, the demand for potent marijuana and marijuana products, the potential for substantial profit, and the perception of little risk entice diverse drug traffickers and criminal organizations to cultivate and distribute illegal marijuana throughout the United States.
Mexico remains the most significant foreign source for marijuana in the United States; however, in U.S. markets, Mexican marijuana has largely been supplanted by domestic-produced marijuana. In 2019,  customs and border protection (CBP) seized nearly 249,000 kilograms of marijuana along the southwest border (SWB), a decline from over 287,000 kilograms in 2018. CBP marijuana seizures along the SWB have decreased more than 81%  since 2013, when almost 1.3 million kilograms were seized. Lesser volumes of marijuana are smuggled into the United States from Canada and the Caribbean.
Marijuana is widely available and cultivated in all 50 states. In 2019, the majority of DEA Field Divisions indicated marijuana availability was high in their respective areas, meaning marijuana is easily obtained at any time. Only four DEA Field Divisions—Atlanta, Caribbean, El Paso, and New Jersey—indicated marijuana availability was moderate, meaning marijuana is generally readily accessible. DEA’s Atlanta Field Division was the only division that reported marijuana was less available compared to the previous reporting period.
Cannabis/THC reports to NFLIS-Drug data by forensic laboratories continued to decline in 2019. In 2019, there were 270,677 marijuana reports submitted to NFLIS- Drug data, a 21% decrease from the 344,382 reports submitted in 2018. Cannabis/ THC was second only to methamphetamine in the number of NFLIS-Drug data reports in 2019.
Next series: Part 6—New Psychoactive Substances.