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Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs

Vincenzo Carrieri (), Leonardo Madio () and Francesco Principe ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2020, vol. 74, issue C

Abstract: Governments worldwide are increasingly concerned about the booming use of CBD (cannabidiol) products. However, we know little about the impact of their liberalization. We study a unique case of unintended liberalization of a CBD-based product (light cannabis) that occurred in Italy in 2017. Using unique and high-frequency data on prescription drug sales and by exploiting the staggered local availability of the new product in each Italian province, we document a significant substitution effect between light cannabis and anxiolytics, sedatives, opioids, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. Results are informative for regulators and suggest that bans on light cannabis use would disregard the needs of patients to seek effective reliefs of their symptoms.

Keywords: Light cannabis; Self-Medication; Marijuana; Difference-In-Difference; Prescription drugs; CBD (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 H75 I18 K32 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Do-It-Yourself Medicine? The Impact of Light Cannabis Liberalization on Prescription Drugs (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Do-It-Yourself medicine? The impact of light cannabis liberalization on prescription drugs (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:74:y:2020:i:c:s0167629620301132

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102371

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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