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Cocaine Prices Have Fallen Steeply Since 1980s

Recent government estimates admit cocaine's price fell to about $135 per gram — down from the peak prices of the early 1980s, when a pure gram of the drug sold for several hundred dollars.

Peter Reuter, professor of public policy and criminology at the University of Maryland, tells NPR's Michele Norris that the low prices of powder and crack cocaine can be tied to its declining popularity — and aging drug traffickers who are less violent and less willing to take risks.

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