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Why Do Some People Want to Legalize Cannabis Use?

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Author Info

  • Williams, J.
  • Ours, J.C. van
  • Grossmann, M.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

Preferences and attitudes to illicit drug policy held by individuals are likely to be an important in uence in the development of illicit drug policy. Amongst the key factors impacting on an individuals preferences over substance use policy are their beliefs about the costs and benefits of drug use, their own drug use history, and the extent of drug use amongst their peers. We use data from the Australian National Drug Strategy's Household Surveys to study these preferences. We find that current use and past use of cannabis are a major determinants of being in favor of legalization. We also find that cannabis users are more in favor of legalization the longer they have used cannabis and, among past users, the more recent their own drug using experience. This may be re ecting the fact that experience with cannabis provides information about the costs and benefits of using this substance. We also find some evidence that peers use of cannabis impacts on preferences towards legalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-007.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011007

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: cannabis use; drugs policy;

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References

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "A Reason for Quantity Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 431-435, May.
  2. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2007. "Why Parents Worry: Initiation into Cannabis Use by Youth and their Educational Attainment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1013, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Michael Grossman, 2006. "The Market for Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 38-60, February.
  4. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  5. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
  6. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-11, July.
  7. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  8. Stephen Pudney, 2010. "Drugs policy: what should we do about cannabis?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 25, pages 165-211, 01.
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