Chu 2015 Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Hard-Drug Use.pdf (1.78 MB)

Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Hard-Drug Use?

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2021, 23:02 by Yu-Wei Chu
Medical marijuana laws generate significant debate regarding drug policy. For instance, if marijuana is a complement to hard drugs, then these laws would increase the usage not only of marijuana but also of hard drugs. In this paper I study empirically the effects of medical marijuana laws by analyzing data on drug arrests and treatment admissions. I find that medical marijuana laws increase these proxies for marijuana consumption by around 10–15 percent. However, there is no evidence that cocaine and heroin usage increases. From the arrest data, the estimates indicate a 0–15 percent decrease in possession arrests for cocaine and heroin combined. From the treatment data, the estimates show a 20 percent decrease in admissions for heroin-related treatment, although there is no significant effect for cocaine-related treatment. These results suggest that marijuana may be a substitute for heroin, but it is not strongly correlated with cocaine. © 2015 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

History

Preferred citation

Chu, Y. -W. L. (2015). Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Hard-Drug Use? The Journal of Law and Economics, 58(2), 481-517. https://doi.org/10.1086/684043

Journal title

The Journal of Law and Economics

Volume

58

Issue

2

Publication date

01/05/2015

Pagination

481-517

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Publication status

Published

Contribution type

Article

ISSN

0022-2186

eISSN

1537-5285

Language

en

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