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The effect of medical marijuana laws on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances

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  • Wen, Hefei
  • Hockenberry, Jason M.
  • Cummings, Janet R.

Abstract

We estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) in ten states between 2004 and 2012 on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other psychoactive substances. We find increases in the probability of current marijuana use, regular marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence among those aged 21 or above. We also find an increase in marijuana use initiation among those aged 12–20. For those aged 21 or above, MMLs further increase the frequency of binge drinking. MMLs have no discernible impact on drinking behavior for those aged 12–20, or the use of other psychoactive substances in either age group.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:64-80
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.03.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medical marijuana law; Marijuana use; Alcohol use; Natural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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