Do medical marijuana laws increase hard drug use?
Medical marijuana laws generate significant policy debates regarding drug policy. In particular, if marijuana is a complement or a gateway drug to hard drugs, these laws would increase not only the usage of marijuana but hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. In this paper, I empirically study the relationships between marijuana and cocaine or heroin by analyzing data on drug possession arrests and rehabilitation treatment admissions. I find that medical marijuana laws increase marijuana arrests and treatments by 10â€“20%. However, there is no evidence that cocaine and heroin usage increases after the passage of medical marijuana laws. In fact, the estimates on cocaine and heroin arrests or treatments are uniformly negative. From the arrest data, the estimates indicate a 0â€“20% decrease in possession arrests for cocaine and heroin combined. From the treatment data, the estimates show a 20% decrease in heroin treatments but no significant effect on cocaine treatments. These results suggest that marijuana could be a substitute for heroin.
|Date of creation:||2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand|
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- D. Mark Anderson & Daniel I. Rees, 2014. "The Role of Dispensaries: The Devil is in the Details," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(1), pages 235-240, January.
- Hans Melberg & Andrew Jones & Anne Bretteville-Jensen, 2010.
"Is cannabis a gateway to hard drugs?,"
Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 583-603, June.
- Hans Olav Melberg & Anne Line Bretteville-Jensen & Andrew M. Jones, 2007. "Is cannabis a gateway to hard drugs?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 07/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Bretteville-Jensen Anne L & Melberg Hans O & Jones Andrew M, 2008. "Sequential Patterns of Drug Use Initiation - Can We Believe In the Gateway Theory?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-31, January.
- Anne Line Bretteville-Jensen & Hans Olav Melberg & Andrew M Jones, 2005. "Sequential patterns of drug use initiation – can we believe in the gateway theory?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 05/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 43-61.
- Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Working Paper Series 3212, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
- Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
- John Bound & Gary Solon, 1998. "Double Trouble: On the Value of Twins-Based Estimation of the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 6721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & David Powell & Paul Heaton & Eric L. Sevigny, 2013. "Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details," NBER Working Papers 19302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:3195. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Library Technology Services)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.