DP9632 Distance to cannabis-shops and age of onset of cannabis use

Author(s): Ali Palali, Jan C. van Ours
Publication Date: September 2013
Keyword(s): cannabis use, coffeeshops, drugs policy
JEL(s): C31, I10, I18
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9632

In the Netherlands cannabis use is quasi-legalized. Small quantities of cannabis can be bought in cannabis-shops. We investigate how the distance to the nearest cannabis-shop affects the age of onset of cannabis use. We use a Mixed Proportional Hazard rate framework to take account of observable as well as unobservable characteristics that influence the uptake of cannabis. We find that distance matters. Individuals who grow up within 20 kilometers of a cannabis-shop have a lower age of onset.