HC Deb 17 July 2002 vol 389 cc396-7W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what he estimates to be the value of the(a) domestic and (b) international trade in (i) cannabis, (ii) amphetamines, (iii) LSD, (iv) cocaine, (v) ecstasy, (vi) heroin and (vii) crack in the most recent year for which figures are available. [66663]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

There are no estimates of the value of the United Kingdom (UK) domestic and international trade in the drugs specified in the question. However, a study by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) produced the following estimates of the value of the market in 1998–99 for the following specific drugs: amphetamines £257.7 million; cannabis

£1,577.9 million; cocaine £352.8 million; crack £1,817.4 million; ecstasy £294.6 million; and heroin £2,313.0 million. These figures should not be regarded as definitive since the purpose of the study "Sizing the UK market for illicit drugs" was to carry out research into different methodologies for assessing the size of illicit drug market. Her Majesty's Customs believe the cocaine (and probably ecstasy) figure from the NERA study is likely to significantly understate the true position by missing much recreational use. This work was in large part derived from the New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (NEW-ADAM) and therefore reflects drug users who have come to the attention of the criminal justice system—which is more likely to be the case with heroin or crack users.

A United Nations study published in January 1998 reported that estimates of the turnover of the global illicit drug industry varied considerably from US$100 billion to US$1,000 billion a year, with the most frequently found figures in the literature in the range US$300 billion to US$500 billion a year.