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RAND Study: Marijuana Use Rises While Consumption Of Cocaine, Methamphetamine Falls

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 18, 2014

    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.

    12 Responses to “RAND Study: Marijuana Use Rises While Consumption Of Cocaine, Methamphetamine Falls”

    1. Grant says:

      Nicholas Rockefeller (who wants to RFID Chip the entire world and is a scary ass nut-job who was part of orchestrating the invasion of many countries for oil, money and power) is on the advisory board of the RAND Corp. and the majority of the studies that RAND produces are anti-marijuana. These studies are denoted in the latest “WEED” documentaries on CNN as indicated by Dr. Sanjay Gupta – The government produced a huge volume of studies related to marijuana – but less than 6% of these studies focused on the therapeutic effects of the plant, while the other 94% focused on the “harm” that the plant causes. Fucking ridiculous, you say? I think so too. This study is kind of cannabis neutral, though RAND hardly portrays cannabis in a positive light. I suppose it can be difficult for them to portray cannabis in a positive manor when donors for the cause are either anti cannabis or have serious vested interests in other industries that profit tremendously from the plant’s legal status. Am I way off here? RAND is evil, their cause is less than noble, and their sole purpose is to make suggestions to law makers in the White House. Although the study may offer some compelling data, this is still produced by RAND. and fuck RAND.

    2. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Yeah, and in my book of life the only stupid people I know are those stupid enough to call others stupid.

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      This ‘exit drug’ stuff really amazes me. I can imagine a future where the once so-called ‘gateway drug’ is medically indicated in treating drug abuse problems.

    4. This has historical precedent as well. Starting in 1991, the rates of marijuana use started to rise, at the same time as rates of cocaine use began to fall. At the time, drug warriors decried the rise in pot use as a dangerous trend. In fact, it was a healthy trend.

      In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration?, as part of the alleged ‘trend back toward Conservatism,’ escalated the campaign against pot, and did have some “success” in reducing the availability of pot. At the time, most of the pot consumed in America had come from outside the country. Stepped-up interdiction efforts meant less pot coming into the country, and increases in the penalties for smuggling, bringing the punishments for trafficking pot more into line with the punishments for trafficking cocaine, resulted in traffickers abandoning pot in favor of much more lucrative and easy-to-smuggle cocaine.

      These were major factors in the intensity of the crack explosion. For several years, pot was very hard to find, and crack was very easy to find. Finally, by the end of the 80s, 1.) People had had five, ten years of seeing what crack was, and what crack did, and saw that crack was, in fact, wack. 2.) By this time, the pot networks had had time to regrow, and pot was becoming both more available and more in demand again.

      So, when the 90s dawned, and people had the safer, better alternative again, the rates of pot use began to rise, and the rates of cocaine use were falling. This was, even then, proof that the “gateway theory” had it completely backwards. Drug warriors of the time predicted that this development would mean MORE cocaine use, when it was already resulting in less.

      And now, it’s happening again. People are turning toward cannabis, and away from cocaine, and pot-haters are wringing their hands again about this ‘dangerous’ trend.

      All of this underscores the fact that the War On Drugs comes from the Bizarro Planet, operating on the inverse of reality.

    5. (p.s. — That question mark after “the Reagan Administration” just appeared for some reason, and was not meant to be there. It was definitely the Reagan Administration.)

    6. mexweed says:

      “75 percent of subjects acknowledged that they used cannabis it as a substitute for prescription drugs, alcohol, or some other illicit substance.”

      Clearly it is now important to emphasize this SUBSTITUTION issue, and challenge funding sources and the government to ENCOURAGE RESEARCH into it. If there are any testimonies or indications that overt deliberate SUBSTITUTION of cannabis for tobacco (or cannabis-inspired equipment such as VAPORIZERS for the H-ot B-urning O-verdose $igarette format) can save lives (443,000 deaths yearly, USA, from $igarettes), then hindering research into the WHY and HOW is unforgiveable.

    7. james says:

      i started on pot and moved to harder drugs but not because i wanted to try something new but because pot had such a strong smell it was easily detectable which would make me more likely to be caught it is the current system that pushed me to move meth and cocaine that is far easier to get away with

    8. bongstar420 says:

      This is horrible! More people are smoking Cannabis due to incremental legalization. If more people smoke pot, it will harm society.

      I do not see how trippling the amount of Cannabis consumers while reducing the amount of Ethanol, Acetylmorphine, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine users is a bad deal. In economics there is a thing called substitution..Cannabis is much more likely to be substituted for a lot of other drugs in a legal climate. This is evidence for that.

    9. Mark I says:

      Cannabis consumption will increase when legalized because smoking is just one method of dosing. With edibles, medibles, and oils, there will be less obvious consumers about. Cannabis usage as a medication should be left to the patients and their doctors, not legislators and law enforcement organizations that have been pilfering people without due processes.

    10. larryg30 says:

      Marijuana, a gateway drug? I’ve been toking for over 45 years.And in states where it was illegal.The so-called gateway drug ,In purchasing medical and/or Maryjane for use in those states, led you to be a criminal and go through the underground (black market)where these dealers would always have other drugs also.So, the would always try to sell them to their customers.In states that have legalized pot,there is no need to be around other drugs,or (black market).So,there will be less use of drugs like herion,cocaine,and other illegal substances.The prisons are overcrowded with people with non-violent possession of maryjane,most for small amounts.Prohibition of marijuana will never work ! They want (the GOV.)to keep spending billions of taxpayer money every year to fight the war on pot and drugs that will NEVER WORK! Regulate and tax MJ and use the money for people that might need help getting off of dangerous drugs, and use money for schools to educate kids on drug abuse, and other good things.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ! LEGALIZE IT !AT LEAST FOR MEDICAL USE, and RESEARCH.I’m a chronically ill person that does not have too long to live,unless I take treatment that might help,But the dangerous side effects could kill you.I could be helped a lot by medical MJ, for pain,and appitite,nausea,and a lot of complications of my illness. I hope this year it will be on November ballot and be voted into law.Tell the government,or your representative to quit locking up people for possession of small amounts of pot,legalize medical MJ,or legalize it totally and states that do will have millions in surplus tax money for all kind of things.

    11. chris says:

      How is it
      That we can spend money to dream about going to mars and we send millions of dollars worth of machines there, but whenever I research who is in charge of getting cannabis removed from the C.S.A. , all I can find is a bucnh of people including our president , pointing fingers and saying its not up to me, or us, so NO.
      This isnt as hard as it seems anymore…..I say if the haters are worried about what cannabis consumers are putting into their bodies , then its time for cannabis consumers to worry about the rest of the USA consumers…….

      I say we should have coffee put on the C.S.A. it doesnt have to be a schedual 1
      it just needs to be put where you should have test ran to see if you can have it , you know for medical reasons of health…then obtain a recomindation for you java…..

      I know its a long shot and I know coffee will still be shipped in to the U.S.in a new market but maybe we should start worring about crap that means nothing but make it sound like it does….kinda like the consumption of cannabis has been labeled……
      People are more likly to be in danger of consuming coffee then cannabis……
      how do I know this?
      because its legal to run test on coffee…..
      SO I say lets start talking about changing stuff that people take for granit…….
      Even reading this sounds stupid to me,,,, and it will to the haters as well…..
      If you cant put on the shoes and walk a mile in them , it makes you a one sided story…..

      Cannabis isnt the cure for the world, or the right answer for everyone……it is however The safest choice that a responible adult should have in his or her life without consequences…..other then the obvious……

      So sick of it all

      As always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    12. Dave Evans says:

      The material known as marijuana does not need to be reschedules, that should not be a goal of ours. It should not even be on the schedule. Placing it there is what is called, “Activist Legislation”. The lawmakers are trying to turn marijuana into a damaging, dangerous material with Activist Legislation. They want marijuana to be connected to cocaine and other drugs and this is exactly how they structure society so people have this false association between marijuana usage and the usage of illegal drugs.

      I’m not sure why judges haven’t knocked these scam laws down. All I cdan think of is, they are on the take, they don’t care, or they are just too stupid to understand the difference between marijuana and cocaine. So are there any judges that can answer why you allow police and prosecutors to lie in your courtrooms over and over and over again???

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