IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eej/eeconj/v24y1998i2p149-164.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey DeSimone

    (Yale University)

Abstract

Although many cocaine users initiated marijuana prior to cocaine, no formal evidence exists that marijuana consumption causes, or is a gateway to, cocaine consumption. This paper employs a two-stage instrumental variable procedure to estimate a structural effect of past marijuana demand on current cocaine demand using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Extensive specification testing verifies that the instruments for marijuana demand, consisting of two state-level marijuana penalty variables, the state beer tax and an indicator of parental alcoholism, have sufficient explanatory power for marijuana demand and have no separate impact on cocaine demand. Results provide strong support for the gateway hypothesis, indicating that marijuana use in 1984 increases the probability of cocaine use in 1988 by 29 percentage points for respondents who have never used cocaine by 1984. The implication is that cocaine use can be more effectively deterred by redirecting some enforcement resources from cocaine to marijuana.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey DeSimone, 1998. "Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 149-164, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:24:y:1998:i:2:p:149-164
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/eeconj/Volume24/V24N2P149_164.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:24:y:1998:i:2:p:149-164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/eeaa1ea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Victor Matheson, College of the Holy Cross (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/eeaa1ea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.