Why do Some People Want to Legalize Cannibis Use?

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-007

26 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2011

See all articles by Jan C. van Ours

Jan C. van Ours

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

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Michael Grossman

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

Date Written: January 22, 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 individuals 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: C31, I10, I18

Suggested Citation

van Ours, Jan C. and Williams, Jenny and Grossman, Michael, Why do Some People Want to Legalize Cannibis Use? (January 22, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1759870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1759870

Jan C. Van Ours (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+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

Michael Grossman

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

5 Hanover Square
16th Floor, Suite 1602
New York, NY 10004-2630
United States
917-261-3127 (Phone)
917-426-7105 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
United States
212-817-7959 (Phone)
212-817-1597 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mgrossman.ws.gc.cuny.edu

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