Marijuana and alcohol: Evidence using border analysis and retail sales data

Michele Baggio, Alberto Chong, Sungoh Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We use retail scanner data on purchases of alcoholic beverages across US counties for 2006 to 2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and alcohol consumption. To do this, we exploit differences in the timing of marijuana laws among states and find that they are substitutes. We show that unlike traditional national-level analysis, focusing on contiguous-border county pairs provides unbiased estimates of the effect of MMLs on alcohol sales. Specifically, alcohol sales in counties located in MML states decreased by 12.4%. Results are robust to including placebo effective dates for MMLs in treated states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-591
Number of pages29
JournalCanadian Journal of Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Canadian Economics Association


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Border region
  • Consumption behavior
  • Drug prescribing
  • drug user
  • Drugs trade
  • Retailing
  • Cannabis sativa


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