High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide

51 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2012  

D. Mark Anderson

University of Washington - Economics

Daniel I. Rees

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

Joseph J. Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

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.

Keywords: medical marijuana laws, marijuana, alcohol, suicide

JEL Classification: I10, I18

Suggested Citation

Anderson, D. Mark and Rees, Daniel I. and Sabia, Joseph J., High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6280. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1994343

D. Mark Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Economics ( email )

Seattle, WA
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

Joseph J. Sabia

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
281
Rank
87,370
Abstract Views
2,719