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Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

  • Anderson, D. Mark


    (Montana State University)

  • Rees, Daniel I.


    (University of Colorado Denver)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6112.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Law and Economics, 2013, 56 (2), 333-369
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6112
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