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Medical marijuana laws and mental health in the United States

Kalbfuß, Jörg, Odermatt, Reto and Stutzer, Alois (2018) Medical marijuana laws and mental health in the United States. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1546). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The consequences of legal access to medical marijuana for individual welfare are a matter of controversy. We contribute to the ongoing discussion by evaluating the impact of the staggered introduction and extension of medical marijuana laws across US states on self-reported mental health. Our main analysis is based on BRFSS survey data from more than six million respondents between 1993 and 2015. On average, we find that medical marijuana laws lead to a reduction in the self-reported number of days with mental health problems. Reductions are largest for individuals with high propensities to consume marijuana for medical purposes and people who are likely to suffer from chronic pain. Moreover, the introduction of prescription drug monitoring programs lead to a reduction in bad mental health days only in states that allow medical marijuana.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H75 - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 16:29
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 00:03
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/88697

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