Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

46 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2011  

D. Mark Anderson

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

To date, 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little is known about their effects. Using state-level data, we examine the relationship between medical marijuana laws and a variety of outcomes. Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption. Our estimates provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.

Keywords: medical marijuana, traffic fatalities, alcohol consumption

JEL Classification: I00, I1

Suggested Citation

Anderson, D. Mark and Rees, Daniel I., Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6112. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1965129

D. Mark Anderson (Contact Author)

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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