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Why do some people want to legalize cannabis use?

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  • Grossman, Michael
  • van Ours, Jan C
  • Williams, Jenny

Abstract

Preferences and attitudes to illicit drug policy held by individuals are likely to be an important influence in the development of illicit drug policy. Amongst the key factors impacting on an individual’s 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 reflecting 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Michael & van Ours, Jan C & Williams, Jenny, 2011. "Why do some people want to legalize cannabis use?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8228, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:hrv:faseco:33078975 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-411, July.
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    4. 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.
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    6. 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.
    7. Anne Line Bretteville-Jensen & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Decriminalization and Initiation into Cannabis Use," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1130, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "A Reason for Quantity Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 431-435, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Palali, Ali, 2015. "Essays in health economics and labor economics," Other publications TiSEM 1116554e-6ca0-4a66-a36f-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cannabis use; Drugs Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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