Marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America despite law enforcement spending an estimated $10 billion annually to pursue efforts to outlaw the plant. In many states, marijuana ranked as the top cash crop for farmers. United States marijuana growers harvested a minimum of 5.5 million pounds of saleable marijuana in 1997 worth $15.1 billion to growers and $25.2 billion on the retail market. Government crop yield estimates place the value of these 8.7 million harvested plants at approximately $26.3 billion to growers and a street value of $43.8 billion. The report based its findings on Drug Enforcement Administration marijuana eradication statistics, a survey of state police eradication results, and marijuana price reports published in High Times Magazine. NORML published previous reports documenting marijuana's national market value between 1982 and 1992.

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