Unintended Consequences of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws On Adult and Youth Drug Use

62 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019

See all articles by Alex Hollingsworth

Alex Hollingsworth

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Coady Wing

Indiana University

Ashley Bradford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 7, 2019

Abstract

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

Hollingsworth, Alex and Wing, Coady and Bradford, Ashley, Unintended Consequences of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws On Adult and Youth Drug Use (June 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3400519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3400519

Alex Hollingsworth (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://alexjhollingsworth.com

Coady Wing

Indiana University ( email )

Ashley Bradford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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