Unintended Consequences of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws On Adult and Youth Drug Use
62 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 7, 2019
Thirty-four states have adopted medical marijuana laws and ten states have adopted recreational marijuana laws. There is little research comparing how these two types of laws affect drug consumption in different age groups. We find that recreational laws increase marijuana use by 23% among adults and by 11% among adolescents. In contrast, medical laws increase adult use by only 6% and have a negligible effect on adolescent use. Taken together, our results suggest that age restrictions in recreational marijuana laws may not be effective, and that medical laws prevent most non-medical use and are not de facto recreational laws.
Keywords: marijuana use, recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, substance abuse, adolescent drug use
JEL Classification: I18, I10, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation