The impact of decriminalization on marijuana and alcohol consumption in Jamaica

Spencer, Nekeisha; Strobl, Eric (2020). The impact of decriminalization on marijuana and alcohol consumption in Jamaica. Health policy and planning, 35(2), pp. 180-185. Oxford University Press 10.1093/heapol/czz149

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We examine whether marijuana decriminalization in Jamaica, a country that historically has had relatively widespread use of the drug, has led to an increase in its use, the frequency of use and the money spent on it. To this end, we use a national drug survey dataset with extensive information on people’s use of, attitudes towards, access to marijuana. Our econometric analysis shows that awareness of the legislation has a positive correlation with the use of the substance. Worryingly, decriminalization positively correlates with the likelihood of first time and general use for youths. There is also some evidence that the legislation results in a substitution away from alcohol towards marijuana consumption for youths. From a policy perspective, a marijuana monitoring system can be implemented to follow the consumption patterns of youths. This should involve establishing school-level programmes that monitor students, and where potential drug users are identified, school officials should intervene to curb students’ drug appetite before an escalated use of marijuana.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics > Economic Policy and Regional Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Strobl, Eric Albert

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

1460-2237

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dino Collalti

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2020 11:16

Last Modified:

15 Apr 2020 11:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/heapol/czz149

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138538

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