THE EFFECTS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES ON ADVERSE OPIOID OUTCOMES

Dispensaries On Adverse Opioid Outcomes

Dispensaries On Adverse Opioid Outcomes

Abstract

Dispensaries On Adverse Opioid Outcomes, As more states enact laws liberalizing marijuana use and the U.S. opioid epidemic surges to unprecedented levels, understanding the relationship between marijuana and opioids is growing increasingly important. Using a unique self‐constructed marijuana dispensary dataset, I estimate the impact of increased marijuana access on opioid‐related harms.

I exploit within‐ and across‐state variation in dispensary openings and find county‐level prescription opioid‐related fatalities decline by 11% following the opening a dispensary. The estimated dispensary effects are qualitatively similar for opioid‐related admissions to treatment facilities.

These results are strongest for males and suggest a substitutability between marijuana and opioids.

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