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Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

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  • Anderson, D. Mark

    () (Montana State University)

  • Rees, Daniel I.

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

Abstract

To date, 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little is known about their effects. Using state-level data, we examine the relationship between medical marijuana laws and a variety of outcomes. Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption. Our estimates provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2011. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 6112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6112
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alcohol consumption; traffic fatalities; medical marijuana;

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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