De Economist

, Volume 154, Issue 4, pp 517–546 | Cite as

The Impact of Cannabis Use on Health

  • Jenny Williams
  • Christopher L. Skeels


Chronic daily cannabis use has been shown to have long term harmful health effects, which in turn is expected to reduce labour market productivity. The evidence is less clear on the health impact of less frequent consumption, which is the more typical mode of use, and previous empirical studies fail to find robust evidence of an adverse impact of these modes of use on labour market productivity. This paper attempts to shed some light on this issue by directly estimating the impact of cannabis consumption in the past week and past year on health status using information on prime age individuals living in Australia. We find that cannabis use does reduce self-assessed health status, with the effect of weekly use being of a similar magnitude as smoking cigarettes daily. Moreover, we find evidence of a dose-response relationship in the health impact of cannabis use, with annual use having roughly half the impact of weekly use.


cannabis cigarettes productivity self-assessed health 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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