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

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  • 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    light cannabis; self-medication; marijuana; differences-in-differences; prescriptions;
    All these keywords.

    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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