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

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

Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers from HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York

Abstract: This paper provides the first analysis of “Do-it-Yourself Medicine†concerning marijuana consumption by studying the effects of the unintended liberalization of light cannabis that took place in Italy in 2016 on prescription drugs sales. Using a unique and high-frequency dataset on monthly sales of drugs and the location of light cannabis retailers and adopting a staggered DiD research design, we find that the local market accessibility of light cannabis led to a reduction in dispensed packets of opioids, anxiolytics, sedatives, anti-migraines, antiepileptics, anti-depressives and anti-psychotics. This calls for an effective regulation of the market and a proper evaluation of the use of light cannabis for medical purposes.

Keywords: light cannabis; self-medication; marijuana; differences-in-differences; prescriptions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H51 H75 I18 K32 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-law
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