8 Transnational Crime and Global Security
that are eradicated in a given year. The United States, Philippines, Guate-
mala, and Costa Rica all reported eradicating more than one million out-
door plants in 2013. Meanwhile, the United States reported eradicating
in excess of 360,000 indoor plants as well (United Nations, 2016). Again,
these estimates are likely impacted by many factors other than overall
production capacity and the countries involved vary from year to year.
Unlike heroin, marijuana is rather bulky when produced in large quan-
tities, thereby making transport and shipping from one country to another
more difficult. However, there is also a wide variation in the quality of
marijuana that is produced from one country to the next. As such, while
it is likely that a large portion of the worldwide production of marijuana
ends up being used within the producing country, transnational shipment
of marijuana remains a substantial law enforcement challenge. Recently,
the highest marijuana use rates were being reported in Oceania (Austra-
lia and New Zealand), followed by North America, Western and Cen-
tral Europe, and West and Central Africa respectively (United Nations,
2012). Again, however, the legalization efforts in the United States will
certainly increase overall production and use rates in certain states but
may simultaneously reduce transnational shipments of marijuana to the
United States.
Methamphetamine and Amphetamine-Type Stimulants
Methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) rep-
resent the fourth category of major drugs of abuse, and the production
and abuse of these substances have increased dramatically in recent years.
Between 2008 and 2012, worldwide seizures of ATS have quadrupled
(United Nations, 2015). Part of the recent surge in ATS abuse is linked
to the abuse of pharmaceuticals prescribed to treat disorders, such as
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and hyperactivity. Clan-
destine methamphetamine production is also a factor, and it continues to
increase, particularly in North America. Methamphetamines and ATS are
short-term, fast-acting, and powerful central nervous system stimulants
that can produce a wide range of pharmacological effects. ATS drugs are
also highly physically addictive. Methamphetamine and ATS can be con-
sumed through smoking, snorting, taken orally in pills or tablets, or dis-
solved in liquids such as water or coffee (Methamphetamine, 2014).
The bulk of methamphetamine and illicit ATS drugs are produced in
clandestine laboratories. Such labs were previously much more prolific in
the United States, but legal measures designed to control the availability
of necessary precursor chemicals (and equipment) have resulted in a shift
in production to Mexico. Here, more ready access to precursors enable
Mexican trafficking groups to operate larger labs capable of producing
vast quantities of high purity methamphetamine (U.S. Department of
Justice, 2010). Production is also prevalent in Southeast Asia, including
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