Illegal cultivation of marijuana (cannabis) in the Amazon rainforest has been shown to spread rapidly.

Marijuana produced through illegal cultivation is known to be used as a fund for large criminal organizations.

Estadu G. Sao Paulo of Brazil Daily cited a federal police report and reported on the 18th that illegal cultivation of marijuana, which was limited to some regions, was spreading rapidly in the Amazon rainforest.

According to the newspaper, illegal marijuana cultivation, which had been concentrated in northeastern Bahia and Pernambuco, is spreading to neighboring regions such as Alagoas, Maranhão and Paraju.

The federal police cracked down last year and found 95 branches of illegally grown marijuana in more than 30 cities and destroyed them by burning or plowing fields.

This is about the same size as 18 football stadiums, the Federal Police said.

The federal police believe that illegal marijuana cultivation involved large criminal organizations such as the PCC based in Sao Paulo.

This is because it is easy to secure funds through marijuana distribution.

No marijuana cultivation is allowed in Brazil.

Illegal cultivation of marijuana is considered a drug trafficking and can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Last year, there was a discussion in Brazil to allow the production and sale of drugs based on marijuana.

The Ministry of Health's National Sanitation and Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) said it would allow cultivation of marijuana for medical treatment and scientific research purposes.

However, Abrasi Esperansa, a medical institution in the northeastern Paraiba state, was the only authorized to cultivate marijuana for medical treatment purposes in a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, based on data from the United Nations, Brazil is the largest marijuana distributor in South America.

Brazilian authorities believe that more than 80% of marijuana produced in neighboring Paraguay flows into Brazil.

Paraguay is the second largest marijuana producer in the world after Mexico.

(Yonhap News, photo = Getty Image Korea)