Illegal Drug Trade

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RAND has studied the impact of policy measures on the problem of illicit drugs; offered recommendations on supply-reduction efforts; and considered the possible effects of marijuana legalization or decriminalization on drug trafficking revenues and on drug-related violence.

  • Cocaine, cannabis leaf, and syringe, photos by Bits and Splits, underworld, and Leonid/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Big Is the U.S. Market for Cannabis, Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth?

    Aug 20, 2019

    Americans spent about $150 billion on cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in 2016—rivaling U.S. spending on alcohol. This number is driven in large part by the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis.

  • Syringe and heroin on a black background, photo by Kittipong/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Fentanyl: The Most Dangerous Illegal Drug in America

    Jan 13, 2020

    America's fentanyl crisis is unlike previous drug epidemics and is likely to get worse. Deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have surged from around 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018. Solving the problem requires innovative approaches and unprecedented resources.

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