Cannabis Use When it's Legal

CentER Discussion Paper No. 2005-12

32 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2005

See all articles by Jan C. van Ours

Jan C. van Ours

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

Date Written: January 2005


This paper uses information about prime age individuals living in Amsterdam, to study whether the use of alcohol, or tobacco stimulates the use of cannabis, i.e., whether alcohol or cannabis are stepping stones for cannabis. The special element of the study is that it concerns the use in an environment where not only alcohol and tobacco but also cannabis is a legal drug. It turns out that alcohol and cannabis are intertemporal substitutes, while tobacco and cannabis are intertemporal complements. Only tobacco is a stepping stone for cannabis use.

Keywords: Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, stepping stone

JEL Classification: C41, D12, I19

Suggested Citation

van Ours, Jan C., Cannabis Use When it's Legal (January 2005). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2005-12. Available at SSRN: or

Jan C. Van Ours (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010

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