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Marijuana Use Rises While Consumption Of Cocaine, Methamphetamine Falls


via: wikipedia

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

A rise in the self-reported consumption of cannabis during the years 2006 to 2010 corresponds with a significant decline in Americans’ use of cocaine and methamphetamine during this same time period, according to a new RAND study commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Researchers estimate that Americans increased their consumption of cannabis by approximately 30 percent during the years 2006 to 2010. During this same time, authors estimated that the public’s use of cocaine and methamphetamine declined, with Americans’ use of cocaine falling by half.

Americans’ consumption of heroin remained largely stable throughout the decade, the study reported. According to statistics compiled by the US Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 4.5 million Americans have tried heroin in their lifetimes. By comparison, an estimated 12 million Americans have tried methamphetamine, 37.5 million have tried cocaine, and 111 million have consumed cannabis.

Authors estimated that Americans spent approximately one trillion dollars on the purchase of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine between 2000 and 2010.

Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “These figures belie that notion that marijuana exposure is an alleged ‘gateway’ to the use of other illicit substances and instead suggest that for some people, cannabis may be a substitute for other so-called ‘hard drugs’ or even an exit drug.”

Survey data published in 2013 in the journal Addiction Research & Theory reported that among a cohort of medical marijuana consumers, 75 percent of subjects acknowledged that they used cannabis it as a substitute for prescription drugs, alcohol, or some other illicit substance.

A 2010 study published in the Harm Reduction Journal reported that cannabis-using adults enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs fared equally or better than nonusers in various outcome categories, including treatment completion.

Full text of the study, “”What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2000-2010,” is available online from the Office of National Drug Control Policy here.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Um, all of those statistics were provided by the government, and there was nothing wrong with their wording.

  2. It’s interesting that over 30 million people in the USA have tried cocaine, I would’ve thought that the number would be a little less than that. I’ve tried many drugs over my lifetime, partly out of boredom and because I didn’t believe anything the government/media told me about any drug due to how much they’d lied about marijuana (talk about drug policy backfiring!), but perversely the drug that really ravaged my life in a severe way was alcohol. I was able to kick habits that many people find difficult to break, like cocaine and tranquilizer habits, but booze really dragged me down into the pit, man. Weed has been useful in that, when I feel the need for a drink, I’ll just get super baked instead and the urge will subside. I imagine it may work the same way with other habits that are negatively affecting the lives of people.

  3. You’d better check your statistics. Unfortunately, meth and cocaine use are actually up in larger cities across the country as compared to 2 months ago. And please choose your words carefully when discussing this issue, otherwise people will continue attempting to label marijuana as a quickly addictive gateway drug.
    This is truly a pivotal time for marijuana, and responsible use by everyone gaining medical benefits from using it can move to the forefront. Ditching the image of a 60s or 70s stoner has been an uphill struggle, but we’re nearing the peak of the mountain and don’t want to tumble back down because of some irresponsible words and actions.

  4. Maryjane$thename on

    For my fight for cannabis, I have encouraged friends and family who were suffering from addiction to synthetic medicine and even alcoholism; to start using marijuana instead. Any time I have ever introduced the natural sticky wonderful medicine, it changes a persons whole persona. It is amazing to see someone going from waking up every morning who used to crack open a beer immediately to “let’s wake and bake” and from them not having any desire for a social or even normal functioning life; to toking instead and living life! I would like to continue my road with activism and get this country to open their eyes to see the the solution is sitting in front of them!

  5. I know an ex-crack addict who was on the verge of losing everything and having a divorce with his wife. He had problems with crack for years and was just “tolerated” by his family. After getting clean, he was persuaded to give medical marijuana a go by somebody. He is now stable and has a job and has a good relationship with his family.

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