“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.”
“I find that core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) with dispensary openings experience a 20 percentage point relative decrease in painkiller treatment admissions over the first two years of dispensary operations.”