Comparison of US and Europe

"Although statistics on drug use in the United States are not fully reliable, the numbers available indicate that US consumption of cocaine and marijuana has been essentially stable for many years—although considerably reduced from its peak in the 1970s and 1980s. The data also show that, today, the United States consumes illegal substances at a rate some three times that of Europe—although the use of drugs in the EU continues to grow rapidly and a few countries actually consume more per capita than the United States. In both the United States and Europe, the wholesale and street prices of cannabis and cocaine have declined in the past several years, although reportedly their potency has increased and demand remains steady. Across the world, illicit drugs appear to be available at stable or declining prices. A recent EU Commission study concluded that global drug production and use remained largely unchanged during the period from 1998 through 2007."


Hakim, Peter, "Rethinking US Drug Policy," Inter-American Dialogue (Washington, DC: The Beckley Foundation, February, 2010), p. 4.