Weed Whackers


Marijuana is among the most notorious and controversial of narcotic substances known to man, and perhaps the most polarizing as well. Proponents magnify the beneficial properties of this drug, citing the effectiveness of its calming properties in recreational and therapeutic use while pointing out the greater danger posed by other, less taboo vices like alcoholism. Those opposed to its use chide its defenders for their lack of temperance and blame marijuana users for facilitating the wealth of drug lords across the world. At present, the general stance of governments around the world is to illegalize marijuana and hunt down those who engage in its trade.

The combined use of proportional symbols and color to indicate magnitude and change may be somewhat disorienting, particularly if one heads in without paying due attention to the included legend. This is no real cause for concern, however, as one can expect the confused reader to start paying attention to the legend soon afterwards. I feel that the color scheme was well chosen and has a certain synergy, with all colors falling easily and gently on the eyes due to being on the cool side of the spectrum. The data behind this map seems quite comprehensive, grouping all countries neatly according to the presence or lack of information and the net change of their annual drug hauls.

Though the man on the street is probably not interested in the details of international marijuana crackdowns, the design of the map remains accessible to his eyes. While informative, it remains quite simple and user-friendly.

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