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On Aging Cannabis Users: a Welfare Economics Analysis

Marco Rossi ()
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Marco Rossi: Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome (IT)

No 11/19, Working Papers from Sapienza University of Rome, DISS

Abstract: In this paper we studied the implications for welfare of an increasing share of adults in the population of cannabis. This demographic process is already significant in Italy, which is leading European greying: a decrease in birth rate and youth, and an increasing proportion of older people in the general population. We make the hypothesis here that adult users are going through a process of social integration and normalization, by which they are changing their patterns of use and socio-economic status. In order to verify the empirical relevance of the share of adults and the above hypotheses, we interviewed a targeted, non- representative, sample of cannabis users, namely visitors at the biggest Italian cannabis fair. Our data suggest that the role and weight of adults in the cannabis market is quantitatively significant and qualitatively different from that of younger people. We analyzed the links between the aging issue and the views supporting cannabis market restrictions (defined as paternalism, economics externalities, and moral externalities). Finally, we developed a very stylized model to see how the benefit of cannabis market restrictions decreases as the share of adults in the cannabis user population increases.

Keywords: cannabis; aging; normalization; social integration; paternalism; externalities; welfare; regulation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E52 E64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-eur and nep-mac
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