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The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use

Listed author(s):
  • Chu, Yu-Wei Luke

More and more states have passed laws that allow individuals to use marijuana for medical purposes. There is an ongoing, heated policy debate over whether these laws have increased marijuana use among non-patients. In this paper, I address that question empirically by studying marijuana possession arrests in cities from 1988 to 2008. I estimate fixed effects models with city-specific time trends that can condition on unobserved heterogeneities across cities in both their levels and trends. I find that these laws increase marijuana arrests among adult males by about 15–20%. These results are further validated by findings from data on treatment admissions to rehabilitation facilities: marijuana treatments among adult males increased by 10–20% after the passage of medical marijuana laws.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629614000952
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 43-61

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:38:y:2014:i:c:p:43-61
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.07.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. 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.
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  3. Hefei Wen & Jason Hockenberry & Janet R. Cummings, 2014. "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use," NBER Working Papers 20085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & David Powell & Paul Heaton & Eric L. Sevigny, 2013. "Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details," NBER Working Papers 19302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  7. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Jamie F. Chriqui & Joanna King, 2003. "Marijuana Decriminalization: What does it mean in the United States?," NBER Working Papers 9690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Mireille Jacobson, 2004. "Baby Booms and Drug Busts: Trends in Youth Drug use in the United States, 1975–2000," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1481-1512.
  15. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2012.301117_2 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Pepper, John, 2005. "The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Illicit-Drug-Related Crimes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 215-234, April.
  17. Farrelly, Matthew C. & Bray, Jeremy W. & Zarkin, Gary A. & Wendling, Brett W., 2001. "The joint demand for cigarettes and marijuana: evidence from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-68, January.
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