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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

To date, 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little is known about their effects.

Using state-level data, we examine the relationship between medical marijuana laws and a variety of outcomes.

Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors.

In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption.

Our estimates provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.

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