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The production and distribution of illicit drugs mainly contains four major stages, which are collection and manufacturing, importation, wholesale distribution and retail sales that are carried out through small dealers locally (Thomson Reuters). Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to discuss these phases.

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Collection and manufacturing, which can be combined under the term “production” is a problem that is extended on a large global scale. Moreover, it is expanding year after year by taking turns producing different types of drugs. Cultivation of illicit crops is concentrated in certain areas and the majority is based in so-called areas of Golden Crescent, Golden Triangle, Mexico and Lebanon. Potentially, major producers are Columbia and Asian region, which is a proof that production is only increasing. The majority of drugs still fall under a plant-grown category and some of them are in the semi-synthetic category. Synthetic drug markets are also increasing in size rapidly.

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Importation or trafficking is a critical stage of distribution and it is the most lucrative phase. In this process, many dealers in every transit country are involved. This characteristic is common for certain systems that include the level of activities, degree of organization, the type of the market of drugs and the creation of particular alliances (UNODC, 2014).

During the wholesales distributions a large amount of illicit drugs is purchased, what is usually done in dollar equivalents. Multiple kilograms of illicit drugs are usually bought from the countries of origin. The upper-level dealers are responsible for smuggling, financing, and transportation of the drugs, and later they deliver narcotics to small retailers. Retail level distributors are responsible for money and drugs, but there also exist low-level distributors who are rarely looking into financial side and later “collectors” take care of the fundraising. Upward mobility from lower to higher level is happening very rarely (LaMance, 2014).

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