Marijuana By the Numbers

Credit: Michel Porro/Getty

As part of our weeklong coverage of the politics of pot, here's a quick look at some key numbers on marijuana in America. For more detail, follow the source links at the foot of this post.

102 million
Number of Americans who've smoked marijuana at least once in their lives (2008 number)

$18 billion
Estimated value of the black market for marijuana

$1.4 billion
Estimated annual revenue California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana

Year in which marijuana was named a restricted Schedule I substance under federal law and growing it a became a felony offense

Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana as of October 2010


Americans in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in their states


15 + District of Columbia
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana

$1.7 billion
National market for medical marijuana in 2011

$8.9 billion
Estimated size of market in five years

California and Colorado's share of the medical marijuana industry

24.8 million
Number of potential patients eligible for medical marijuana in states where it's legal

Number of patients in those states actually using medical marijuana for medical purposes 

Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2009

Fraction of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison that are black or Hispanic, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites

Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction

Sources: Drug Policy Alliance; Congressional Research Service; Gallup; Harris; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Office of Applied Studies