Economics of Drug Policy and the Drug War
- Federal Drug Control Spending by Function FY2013 through FY2017
- Estimated Federal Drug Control Spending By Function for Fiscal Years 2003-2017
Page last updated June 6, 2020 by Doug McVay, Editor/Senior Policy Analyst.
11. Reported Educational Achievement and Income of Drug Using Versus Non-Using Full-Time Workers
" Workers with a college education had a lower prevalence of current illicit drug use compared with those without a college education. The prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs was lower among those with higher levels of education than those with less education (college graduate [5.7 percent] vs. less than high school [11.2 percent]) (Figure 2.6 and Table 2.3).
Larson, S. L., Eyerman, J., Foster, M. S., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2007). Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs (DHHS Publication No. SMA 07-4273, Analytic Series A-29). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, pp. 12-15.
12. Effectiveness of Interdiction Spending
"In 2005, the federal government spent $2.6 billion to disrupt and deter the transport of illicit drugs into the United States. While international efforts to step up drug seizures may affect availability, price and consequences associated with a particular drug (i.e., cocaine or heroin), CASA was unable to find evidence that such strategies have an overall impact on reducing substance abuse and addiction or its costs to government."
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, "Shoveling Up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets" (New York, NY: CASA, May 2009), p. 58.
13. Estimated Value of US Methamphetamine Market
"A more recent study using a demand-side approach estimates that the annual retail value of the U.S. methamphetamine market is between $3 and $8 billion, with a best guess of $5 billion.12 The margin of error is large because the footprint of methamphetamine use does not match the footprint of the data collection system. Methamphetamine use in the United States is concentrated in certain regions, and it is not primarily an urban drug, whereas data collection systems are centered in urban areas. Moreover, because there have been dramatic shifts in methamphetamine consumption and production during the past decade, estimates are highly dependent on the year analyzed. While there are considerable uncertainties, the amphetamine market is clearly smaller than the cocaine and cannabis markets in North America, smaller than the cocaine market in South America, and potentially smaller than markets for other drugs elsewhere in the hemisphere as well. However, data are not available to provide a detailed analysis for all regions."
Organization of American States, "The Drug Problem in the Americas: Studies: Chapter 4: The Economics of Drug Trafficking," 2013, p. 12.
14. Official Estimate of What Americans Spend on Drugs, 2010
" Drug users in the United States spend on the order of $100 billion annually on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth. While this total figure has been stable over the decade, there have been important compositional shifts. In 2000, much more money was spent on cocaine than marijuana; in 2010 the opposite was true.
B. Kilmer, S. Everingham, J. Caulkins, G. Midgette, R. Pacula, P. Reuter, R. Burns, B. Han, R. Lundberg, "What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs: 2000-2010," Prepared for:Office of National Drug Control Policy Office of Research and Data Analysis Under HHS contract number: HHSP23320095649WC, Feb. 2014, pp. 3-4.
15. Official Estimate of the Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use
"In 2007, the cost of illicit drug use totaled more than $193 billion. Direct and indirect costs attributable to illicit drug use are estimated in three principal areas: crime, health, and productivity.
"The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society," National Drug Intelligence Center (Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, April 2011), p. ix-xi.