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Marijuana is getting more popular in America while cocaine declines

August 23, 2019

Illicit drug use lurks in the shadows one reason its difficult to study. But public health researchers pull together numbers from surveys, overdose records and other sources to look for trends in how much people spend on drugs, numbers of users and frequency of use that can help policy makers fight substance abuse. Now, an analysis released August 20 by the Rand Corporation estimates that people in the United States spent between 121 billion dollars and 146 billion dollars annually on cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine from 2006 and 2016. The analysis puts the drugs’ combined total on the same order as Americans’ annual alcohol tab, based on market research on the alcohol industry.