Time Trends Matter: The Case of Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Overdose Mortality
R. Vincent Pohl ()
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
Mortality due to opioid overdoses has been growing rapidly in the U.S., with some states experiencing much steeper increases than others. Legalizing medical cannabis could reduce opioid-related mortality if potential opioid users substitute towards cannabis as a safer alternative. I show, however, that a substantial reduction in opioid-related mortality associated with the implementation of medical cannabis laws can be explained by selection bias. States that legalized medical cannabis exhibit lower pre-existing mortality trends. Accordingly, the mitigating effect of medical cannabis laws on opioid-related mortality vanishes when I include state-specific time trends in state-year-level difference-in-differences regressions.
Keywords: medical cannabis laws; opioid overdose mortality; difference-in-differences; group-specific time trends (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 I12 I18 K32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Working Paper: Time Trends Matter: The Case of Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Overdose Mortality (2018)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:87237
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