DP7384 Cannabis Use and Mental Health Problems

Author(s): Jan C. van Ours, Jenny Williams
Publication Date: July 2009
Keyword(s): cannabis use, discrete factor models, duration models, mental health
JEL(s): C41, D12, I19
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7384

This paper investigates whether cannabis use leads to worse mental health. To do so, we account for common unobserved factors affecting mental health and cannabis consumption by modeling mental health jointly with the dynamics of cannabis use. Our main finding is that using cannabis increases the likelihood of mental health problems, with current use having a larger effect than past use. The estimates suggest a dose response relationship between the frequency of recent cannabis use and the probability of currently experiencing a mental health problem.