The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of drugs, which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws. A UN report said the global drug trade generated an estimated US$321.6 billion in 2003. With a world GDP of US$36 trillion in the same year, the illegal drug trade may be estimated as slightly less than 1% (0.893%) of total global commerce. Consumption of illegal drugs is widespread globally. Addictive drugs were first prohibited in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An Illegal Drug Trade emerged during the 19th century, China retaliated with imports of opium and two Opium Wars broke out. In the First Opium War the Chinese authorities had banned opium but the United Kingdom forced China to allow British merchants to trade opium with the general population. Smoking opium had become common in the 19th century and British merchants increased. Trading in opium was (as it is today in the heroin trade) extremely lucrative. As a result of this illegal trade an estimated two million Chinese people became addicted
Contributions by Corvun, The Anome, and 188.8.131.52.