Marijuana Use among Youth
Marijuana use and misuse among youth has been linked to developmental problems and negative outcomes. However, many studies in the existing literature report associations or correlations rather than causal relationships. With legalization of marijuana at the forefront of local, state, and federal policy discussions, there is great scientific and policy interest in determining whether less stringent marijuana laws lead to greater use and negative outcomes among all age groups, but particularly youth. The proposed session includes a cohesive set of three papers, all of which seek to uncover causal relationships pertaining to marijuana use among youth. The session will be chaired by Jennifer Trudeau from Sacred Heart University and each paper has an assigned discussant, including Ezra Golberstein, Hope Corman, and Alison Cuellar. Paper 1 will be presented by Jenny Williams from the University of Melbourne. This paper investigates whether marijuana use in high school is significantly related to future education, job search, and wages in the first job post education. Paper 2 will be presented by Joanne Spetz from the University of California-San Francisco. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether the passage of medical marijuana (MM) laws in certain states has led to greater initiation and use of marijuana among youth. Michael French from the University of Miami will present the final paper in the session, which analyzes unique longitudinal data from Add Health to assess the human capital and labor market consequences of early initiation of marijuana use.