The estimated number of people using marijuana for the first time appears to be increasing, according to data from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). More than 2.4 million persons ages 12 or older used marijuana for the first time in 2010, compared to the most recent low of 2.1 million in 2006. The abuse of prescription drugs continues to rival that of marijuana.
For more statistics about drug abuse, visit the 2010 SAMHSA NSDUH Survey here.
According to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, more marijuana grow houses were seized in Florida than in any other state last year.
Nationwide demand for high-potency marijuana has turned Florida into a top producer of hydroponic weed, and hundreds of South Floridians are turning their homes into lucrative grow houses, according to local law enforcement.
The illegal drug nurseries are hidden everywhere from million-dollar homes to run-down apartments, putting unsuspecting neighbors in serious danger, police said. Some grow houses are discovered only after explosions or fires.
“The bad guys are getting smarter, and we’re not finding them all,” said Capt. Joe Mendez, who oversees HIDTA’s marijuana task force in South Florida.
The huge profits made from hydroponic marijuana create a never-ending battle for police, said Mendez, of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Each pound has a street value of about $4,000 in South Florida, and each plant produces about three pounds a year, according to the task force.