Americans Increasingly Making Rational Decisions About Drugs, Despite Ongoing Government Propaganda should have read the headlines nationwide when a new study from the Rand Corporation, commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), found that between 2006 and 2010, marijuana use climbed steadily higher in this country, while use of cocaine and methamphetamine dramatically dropped.

And these were not subtle shifts. According to researchers, Americans' cannabis consumption rose approximately 30% over that four year period, while cocaine use fell by half during the same timeframe.

“These figures belie that notion that marijuana exposure is an alleged ‘gateway’ to the use of other illicit substances,” according to NORML  Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Instead, [this research] suggests that for some people, cannabis may be a substitute for other so-called ‘hard drugs’ or even an exit drug.”

It's almost as if, despite employing high ranking government officials at the Drug Enforcement Agency who are somehow unable to determine if marijuana is more or less harmful than hard drugs, the American public can now see through the smoke-and-mirrors of the government's lies and choose a far safer, all-natural herbal option. And these numbers don't even reflect marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, and the increasingly science-based discussion of marijuana's relative risks that's been taking place in the media ever since.

Lately, we've even seen the political class begin to acknowledge reality and move forward on meaningful, common-sense drug law reform. And so, lawmakers will hopefully take this latest research as a sign that increased access to marijuana may actually be the best weapon society has against hard drug abuse. 

“Having credible estimates of the number of heavy drug users and how much they spend is critical for evaluating policies, making decisions about treatment funding and understanding the drug revenues going to criminal organizations,” said Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and the study's lead author.  “This work synthesizes information from many sources to present the best estimates to date for illicit drug consumption and spending in the United States.”

The full study, entitled “What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2000–2010,” is available via the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.