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NCJ Number: 134823 Find in a Library
Title: Illicit Price of Cocaine in Two Eras: 1908-13 and 1982-89
Journal: Pharmacy in History  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:(1991)  Pages:3-7
Author(s): D F Musto
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 5
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: There have been three stages to the legal status of cocaine in the United States: the period when cocaine could be obtained legally, from its introduction in 1884 until 1900; the period until 1914 when it was available only through a physician; and the post-1914 period when severe constraints on access to cocaine were enacted by the Federal government. This study reports on the licit and illicit prices of cocaine during the middle, or "medical" stage, and compares them with illicit cocaine prices in the 1980's.
Abstract: Data were based on the average industrial hourly wage, information on wholesale prices of an ounce of cocaine hydrochloride, and figures on illicit drug street prices obtained from contemporary newspapers. The results showed that the wholesale price of cocaine settled down at a fairly steady level, where the cost per gram approximated the average hourly wage for industrial workers. According to statistics compiled by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the prices of bulk and street cocaine have been declining since the early 1980's and now average between $5 and $15 per gram, approximately the average industrial hourly wage. A further comparison of cocaine prices between the two time periods shows that the cost of cocaine at the street level is lower now, in buying power, than it was on the streets of New York City before the passage of the Harrison Act in 1914. 3 tables
Main Term(s): Cocaine
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug regulation
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