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The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Labor Market Outcomes

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This study is the first to estimate the impact of state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on labor market outcomes. First, using data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, we document that MMLs are associated with an increase in marijuana consumption among younger and older adult males, consistent with increases in use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Then, using data from the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups, we find no evidence that MMLs affect employment, hours, or wages among working-age adults, including among demographic groups whose marijuana consumption is most impacted by MMLs. Medical marijuana laws that provide access to open marijuana dispensaries only moderately depress wages among young men. We conclude that the labor market effects of MMLs are small.

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