A recent report released by the RAND Corporation reveals exactly how much Americans have spent on illicit drugs over the past few years.
Americans spent between $121 billion and $146 billion per year on illegal drugs. According to the report, between the years 2006 and 2016, illegal substance use went up in every polled area except for cannabis, since during that time, cannabis was actively being moved outside of the black market and into the mainstream industry across the U.S.
Still, when illegal and legal cannabis were analyzed together, cannabis consumption made up 36 percent of the substances polled, making it the most-used substance inquired about. Luckily, a lot of this consumption is just taking place in a legal setting and away from the world of illicit drugs.
“To better understand changes in drug use outcomes and policies, policymakers need to know what is happening in the markets for these substances: How many people are using them? How much are they using? How much money are they spending? How have these quantities changed over time?” the report explains. “This report provides answers to these questions by combining information from multiple data sources. This report updates and extends estimates of the number of users, expenditures, and consumption from 2006 to 2016 for cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine, based on a methodology developed by the RAND Corporation for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.”
This isn’t the first study to bring light to positive news about cannabis recently. A new study reveals that cannabis can help reduce cancer cell growth, and there has even been evidence released that hemp can help the dwindling bee population. As long as more positive news continues to come to light, there will be even more supportive evidence for the growth of the legal cannabis industry.