The Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Illegal Marijuana Use
Yu-Wei Luke Chu
Victoria University of Wellington - School of Economics & Finance
May 30, 2014
Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 38, 2014
More and more states have passed laws that allow individuals to use marijuana for medical purposes.There is an ongoing, heated policy debate over whether these laws have increased marijuana use amongnon-patients. In this paper, I address that question empirically by studying marijuana possession arrests incities from 1988 to 2008. I estimate fixed effects models with city-specific time trends that can conditionon unobserved heterogeneities across cities in both their levels and trends. I find that these laws increasemarijuana arrests among adult males by about 15–20%. These results are further validated by findingsfrom data on treatment admissions to rehabilitation facilities: marijuana treatments among adult malesincreased by 10–20% after the passage of medical marijuana laws.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 84
Keywords: Marijuana, Medical marijuana laws, Illegal drug use, Medical marijuana, Marijuna abuse, Drug arrest, Substance treatment
JEL Classification: H75, I10, I18, K32, K42
Date posted: October 21, 2012 ; Last revised: October 19, 2015
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