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High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide

Author

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  • Anderson, D. Mark

    (Montana State University)

  • Rees, Daniel I.

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Sabia, Joseph J.

    (San Diego State University)

Abstract

Using state-level data for the period 1990 through 2007, we estimate the effect of legalizing medical marijuana on suicide rates. Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males. Estimates of the relationship between legalization and female suicides are less precise and are sensitive to functional form.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2012. "High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide," IZA Discussion Papers 6280, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    medical marijuana laws; marijuana; alcohol; suicide;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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