Seizures

Worldwide, a total of 1 347 tonnes of cannabis resin and 5 821 tonnes of herbal cannabis were seized in 2003. Western and central Europe (70 %) and South-West Asia and the Near and Middle East (21 %) accounted for most cannabis resin seized, whereas quantities of herbal cannabis seized were concentrated in the Americas (68 %) and Africa (26 %) (CND, 2005). In terms of number of seizures, cannabis is the most seized drug in all countries of the EU except Estonia and Latvia, where in 2003 the number of amphetamine seizures was higher. In terms of quantities, cannabis is also usually the most seized drug in the EU, although in 2003 quantities of other drugs seized were reported to be higher in a few countries – amphetamines in Estonia and Luxembourg, heroin in Hungary and cocaine in Poland. Historically, most cannabis seizures in the EU have been made by the United Kingdom, followed by Spain and France, and this is probably still the case (52). However, for the past five years, in terms of quantities, Spain has accounted for more than half the total amount seized in the EU. At the EU level, the number of cannabis seizures (53) has shown a more or less upward trend since 1998, though partial reporting of data from a few countries make this uncertain, while quantities (54) seized appear to have risen since 2000.


(52) This should be checked against missing 2003 data when available. Data on numbers of cannabis seizures in 2003 were not available for Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Romania; data on both number of cannabis seizures and quantities of cannabis seized in 2003 were not available for Ireland and the United Kingdom.

(53) See Table SZR-1 (part i) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.

(54) See Table SZR-2 (part i) in the 2005 statistical bulletin.