A new study conducted by the RAND Corporation has found that in recent years cocaine use has dropped substantially, while cannabis use has risen. According to the data, drug users in the United States spend over $100 billion annually on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
“This work synthesizes information from many sources to present the best estimates to date for illicit drug consumption and spending in the United States”, says Beau Kilmer, the study’s lead author and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. “Our analysis shows that Americans likely spent more than one trillion dollars on cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine between 2000 and 2010.”
According to the study, cocaine use was down 50% between 2006 and 2010, while cannabis use was up 30%. The use of heroin remained stable, and the use of meth was hard to calculate, according to Kilmer.
This study demonstrates that despite an ongoing “war on drugs”, there continues to be a huge market for illegal substances.