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Marijuana Legalization and Mental Health

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Borbely

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Otto Lenhart

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Jonathan Norris

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • Agnese Romiti

    (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

Abstract

This study examines the effects of marijuana legalization on mental health. We use a difference-in-differences approach that leverages the staggered implementation of both medical and recreational marijuana legislation across U.S. states. We find that marijuana laws have a positive effect on marijuana use but have no effect on mental health overall. Nonetheless, null aggregate effects mask sharp heterogeneities across the age distribution. We show that elderly individuals, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, benefit from medical marijuana legalization in terms of better mental health, whereas legalizing recreational marijuana produces the opposite effect for younger individuals, especially if relatively healthy.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Borbely & Otto Lenhart & Jonathan Norris & Agnese Romiti, 2023. "Marijuana Legalization and Mental Health," Working Papers 2302, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:str:wpaper:2302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rahi Abouk & Keshar M. Ghimire & Johanna Catherine Maclean & David Powell, 2023. "Pain Management and Work Capacity: Evidence From Workers’ Compensation and Marijuana Legalization," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 42(3), pages 737-770, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marijuana legalization; recreational marijuana; medical marijuana; mental health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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