These maps show the hard drug trade in remarkable detail

Despite drastic punishments for drug dealing, up to and including death in many countries, the worldwide illegal drug trade continues to flourish. While governments invest vast sums of taxpayers' money in fighting a so-called "war" on drugs, one glance at the size and scope of the drug business suggests it may always be unwinnable.

The drug trade accounts for almost 1% of the world's financial revenue, with the cocaine trade alone boasting an annual turnover of around $85 billion — all tax free.

Republished with permission from Around the World: An Atlas for Today, this graph charts the path from production to consumer of cocaine, heroin, and Amphetamine-type stimulants — though it excludes the biggest of all: the cannabis business, whose dimensions would require a global graphic all to itself. 

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