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Is cannabis a gateway to hard drugs?

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JournalEmpirical Economics
DatePublished - Jun 2010
Issue number3
Volume38
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)583-603
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The gateway hypothesis proposes that use of cannabis directly increases the risk of consuming hard drugs. We test this controversial, but influential, hypothesis on a sample of cannabis users, exploiting a unique set of drug price data. A flexible approach is developed to identify the causal gateway effect using a bivariate survival model with shared frailty estimated using a latent class approach. The model suggests two distinct groups; a smaller group of "troubled youths" for whom there is a statistically significant gateway effect that more than doubles the hazard of starting to use hard drugs and a larger fraction of youths for whom previous cannabis use has less impact.

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M1 - 3

    Research areas

  • Gateway hypothesis, Illicit drugs, Duration analysis, Latent class models, DURATION MODELS, MARIJUANA USE, CONSUMPTION, PROGRESSION, PRICES, TIME

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