High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide
D. Mark Anderson
University of Washington - Economics
Daniel I. Rees
University of Colorado at Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Joseph J. Sabia
IZA Discussion Paper No. 6280
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: medical marijuana laws, marijuana, alcohol, suicide
JEL Classification: I10, I18
Date posted: January 28, 2012
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