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Risks and Prices: The Role of User Sanctions in Marijuana Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Pacula Rosalie Liccardo

    () (RAND)

  • Kilmer Beau

    () (RAND)

  • Grossman Michael

    () (NBER)

  • Chaloupka Frank J

    () (University of Illinois, Chicago)

Abstract

User sanctions influence the legal risk for consumers who engage in illegal drug markets. If a reduction in user sanctions leads to an increase in consumption, drug prices will rise unless supply is perfectly elastic. In equilibrium, a change in consumption associated with decreasing user sanctions could be relatively small if supply is upward sloping. Using a novel dataset with rich transaction-level information, this paper evaluates the impact of recent changes in user sanctions for marijuana on marijuana prices. The results suggest that lower legal risks for users are associated with higher marijuana prices in the short-run, which ceteris paribus, implies an upward sloping supply curve, higher consumption, and higher profits for drug dealers. The findings have important implications for the current policy debates regarding decriminalization of marijuana.

Suggested Citation

  • Pacula Rosalie Liccardo & Kilmer Beau & Grossman Michael & Chaloupka Frank J, 2010. "Risks and Prices: The Role of User Sanctions in Marijuana Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:11
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrick M. O'Malley & Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2001. "Marijuana and Youth," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 271-326 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huber III Arthur & Newman Rebecca & LaFave Daniel, 2016. "Cannabis Control and Crime: Medicinal Use, Depenalization and the War on Drugs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-35, October.
    2. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 43-61.
    3. Wen, Hefei & Hockenberry, Jason M. & Cummings, Janet R., 2015. "The effect of medical marijuana laws on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 64-80.
    4. Adam J. Davis & Karl R. Geisler & Mark W. Nichols, 2016. "The price elasticity of marijuana demand: evidence from crowd-sourced transaction data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1171-1192, June.
    5. Carlos Casacuberta & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "Aportes del análisis económico al estudio de las drogas," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0112, Department of Economics - dECON.
    6. Daniel I. Rees, 2014. "Does substance use affect educational outcomes?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-66, May.
    7. Waddell, G.R., 2012. "Adolescent drug use and the deterrent effect of school-imposed penalties," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 961-969.
    8. repec:eee:jhecon:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:29-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 333-369.
    10. Cervený, J. & van Ours, J.C. & Chomynova, Pavla & Mravcik, Viktor, 2015. "Cannabis Decriminalization and the Age of Onset of Cannabis Use," Discussion Paper 2015-007, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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