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Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs

Author

Listed:
  • Carrieri,V.;
  • Madio,L.;
  • Principe, F.;

Abstract

This paper provides the first analysis of “Do-it-Yourself Medicine†concerning marijuana consumption by studying the effects of the unintended liberalization of light cannabis that took place in Italy in 2016 on prescription drugs sales. Using a unique and high-frequency dataset on monthly sales of drugs and the location of light cannabis retailers and adopting a staggered DiD research design, we find that the local market accessibility of light cannabis led to a reduction in dispensed packets of opioids, anxiolytics, sedatives, anti-migraines, antiepileptics, anti-depressives and anti-psychotics. This calls for an effective regulation of the market and a proper evaluation of the use of light cannabis for medical purposes.

Suggested Citation

  • Carrieri,V.; & Madio,L.; & Principe, F.;, 2019. "Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 19/07, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:19/07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Adda, Jérôme & McConnell, Brendon & Rasul, Imran, 2014. "Crime and the depenalization of cannabis possession: evidence," Economics Working Papers ECO2014/05, European University Institute.
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    4. Jérôme Adda & Brendon McConnell & Imran Rasul, 2014. "Crime and the Depenalization of Cannabis Possession: Evidence from a Policing Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 1130-1202.
    5. Powell, David & Pacula, Rosalie Liccardo & Jacobson, Mireille, 2018. "Do medical marijuana laws reduce addictions and deaths related to pain killers?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 29-42.
    6. Brinkman, Jeffrey & Mok-Lamme, David, 2017. "Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime," Working Papers 17-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    8. Carrieri, Vincenzo & Madio, Leonardo & Principe, Francesco, 2019. "Light cannabis and organized crime: Evidence from (unintended) liberalization in Italy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 63-76.
    9. Benjamin Hansen & Keaton S. Miller & Caroline Weber, 2018. "Early Evidence on Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 24417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    light cannabis; self-medication; marijuana; differences-in-differences; prescriptions;

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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