Why do Some People Want to Legalize Cannabis Use?

28 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011

See all articles by Michael Grossman

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2011

Abstract

Preferences and attitudes to illicit drug policy held by individuals are likely to be an important influence in the development of illicit drug policy. Amongst the key factors impacting on an individual’s preferences over substance use policy are their beliefs about the costs and benefits of drug use, their own drug use history, and the extent of drug use amongst their peers. We use data from the Australian National Drug Strategy's Household Surveys to study these preferences. We find that current use and past use of cannabis are a major determinants of being in favor of legalization. We also find that cannabis users are more in favor of legalization the longer they have used cannabis and, among past users, the more recent their own drug using experience. This may be reflecting the fact that experience with cannabis provides information about the costs and benefits of using this substance. We also find some evidence that peers use of cannabis impacts on preferences towards legalization.

Keywords: Cannabis use, Drugs Policy

JEL Classification: I10, I18

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Michael and van Ours, Jan C. and Williams, Jenny, Why do Some People Want to Legalize Cannabis Use? (February 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8228. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758437

Michael Grossman (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office ( email )

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CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

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Jan C. Van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
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+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/staffprofile/jwilliams.htm

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