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Policing Cannabis and Drug Related Hospital Admissions: Evidence from Administrative Records

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  • Kelly, Elaine
  • Rasul, Imran

Abstract

Abstract We evaluate the impact of a policing experiment that depenalized the possession of small quantities of cannabis in the London borough of Lambeth, on hospital admissions related to illicit drug use. To do so, we exploit administrative records on individual hospital admissions classified by ICD-10 diagnosis codes. These records allow the construction of a quarterly panel data set for London boroughs running from 1997 to 2009 to estimate the short and long run impacts of the depenalization policy unilaterally introduced in Lambeth between 2001 and 2002. We find the depenalization of cannabis had significant longer term impacts on hospital admissions related to the use of hard drugs, raising hospital admission rates for men by between 40 and 100% of their pre-policy baseline levels. The impacts are concentrated among men in younger age cohorts. The dynamic impacts across cohorts vary in profile with some cohorts experiencing hospitalization rates remaining above pre-intervention levels three to four years after the depenalization policy is introduced. We combine these estimated impacts on hospitalization rates with estimates on how the policy impacted the severity of hospital admissions to provide a lower bound estimate of the public health cost of the depenalization policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly, Elaine & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Policing Cannabis and Drug Related Hospital Admissions: Evidence from Administrative Records," CEPR Discussion Papers 9856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9856
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Adda & Brendon McConnell & Imran Rasul, 2014. "Crime and the Depenalization of Cannabis Possession: Evidence from a Policing Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 1130-1202.
    2. Parey, Matthias & Rasul, Imran, 2017. "Measuring the Market Size for Cannabis: A New Approach Using Forensic Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 12161, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Adda, Jérôme & McConnell, Brendon & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Crime and the depenalization of cannabis possession: evidence," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/05, European University Institute.
    4. Marcus, Jan & Siedler, Thomas, 2015. "Reducing binge drinking? The effect of a ban on late-night off-premise alcohol sales on alcohol-related hospital stays in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 55-77.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:488-501 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rose, Christiern, 2016. "The War on Drugs: An Analysis of the Effects of Supply Disruption on Prices and Purity," TSE Working Papers 16-643, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Molitor, Ramona, 2017. "Publicly announced speed limit enforcement and its impact on road safety: Evidence from the German Blitzmarathons," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-75-17, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    8. Anna Choi & Dhaval Dave & Joseph J. Sabia, 2016. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Medical Marijuana Laws and Tobacco Use," NBER Working Papers 22554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2015. "Per se drugged driving laws and traffic fatalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 122-134.
    10. Dragone, Davide & Prarolo, Giovanni & Vanin, Paolo & Zanella, Giulio, 2019. "Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 488-501.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    alcohol; cannabis; class-A drugs; depenalization; hospital admissions;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • 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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