The effects of medical marijuana market size on adolescents

Author

Listed:

  • Smart, Rosanna
  • Doremus, Jacqueline

Abstract

We exploit shocks to US federal enforcement policy to assess how legal medical marijuana market size affects youth marijuana use and consequences for youth traffic-related fatalities. Using hand-collected data on state medical marijuana patient rates to develop a novel measure of market size, we find that legal market growth increases youth marijuana use. Likely mechanisms are lower prices and easier access. Youth die more frequently from alcohol-involved car accidents, suggesting complementarities for youths. The consequences of marijuana legalization for youth are not immediate, but depend on how supply-side regulations affect production and prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Smart, Rosanna & Doremus, Jacqueline, 2023.
    The kids aren’t alright: The effects of medical marijuana market size on adolescents,”
    Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:87:y:2023:i:c:s0167629622001126

    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2022.102700

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