posted on May, 2 2003 @ 03:16 PM
Marijuana, pornography and illegal labour have created a hidden market in the United States which now accounts for as much as 10% of the American
economy, according to a study. As a cash crop, marijuana is believed to have outstripped maize, and hardcore porn revenue is equal to Hollywood's
domestic box office takings.
Despite laws that punish marijuana cultivation more strictly than murder in some states, Americans spend more on illegal drugs than on cigarettes. And
despite official disapproval of pornography, the US leads the world in export of explicit sex videos, according to Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and
Cheap Labour in the American Black Market, by Eric Schlosser.
Although the official American economy has been suffering a downturn, the shadow economy is enjoying unprecedented levels of success, much in the way
that the prohibition period fuelled the illegal markets in the 30s. Schlosser found that three specific industries accounted for a major portion of