The cost of cannabis

Accounting for income endogeneity, our results suggested that being a current cannabis user may cost an individual over £5600 per year, in terms of lost wellbeing, while being a current user of other drugs may cost approximately £4000 per year. While acknowledging possible reverse causality, we estimated the annual population cost of drug use may be as high as £10.7bn in terms of lost wellbeing.

That is from a new paper by Anna Maccagnan, Tim Taylor, and Mathew P. White, via the excellent Rolf Degen.

Comments

What does it mean to "acknowledge possible reverse causality"? Mention it then ignore it?

It was one of those thoughts you have when you're high, but then forget to follow it through when you get distracted by the cat.

Hey.... what if we are actually just specks of sand on another universe's beach...

"Marijuana use is frequently linked to mental health issues

If an employee is using marijuana, Krakower suggests that employers dig further."

https://abcnews.go.com/US/people-marijuana-based-professions-study/story?id=54417564

“Is there anxiety, is there ADHD, is there depression?" he said. "If marijuana is there, what else are we missing? Are we meeting [our employees'] needs?”

If they are only digging further into other issues once they know a person is a marijuana user, how is this not creating a selection bias problem? Maybe everyone has the same issues, but only the pot users have them discovered due to people 'digging further' into their lives than others.

Fair question

Strong +1.

Seems like this could be correlational but entirely non-causal.

Eh, there certainly are people who seem to use it compulsively and develop some kind of dependence. Seems perfectly reasonable that that's extremely unhealthy in the long run. But yes, I'm sure there are other people who are already miserable for one reason or another and use marijuana to self-medicate.

Seems like they are a loser either way.

Correlational but not causal is what I was thinking. Another clue is their figure on alcohol: satisfaction is maximized at 1-2 nights per week, which is suspiciously close to the number that various doctors found to be correlated with healthier aging and longer life. It seems likely to me that the people who succeed at life tend to have decent jobs and friends that they occasionally drink with. But emulating the drinking pattern of the successful won't itself cause your success. Likewise, just because losers smoke dope, it doesn't mean that smoking dope will make you a loser. (It's just evidence that you are a loser.)

Current best research I have read suggests that both are causal (cannabis use increases rates of schizophrenia and schizophrenia causes increased cannabis use). The most likely model for that is a feedback loop.

This is not uncommon. People who are depressed are more likely to drink alcohol, but the more alcohol one drinks, the less likely they are able to sustain support structures. Lack of support structures tends to worsen depression which in turn leads to more drinking.

The big thing that we know is that cannabis use is not schizoprotective. The self-medication hypothesis is basically dead at this point. The "best" possible model is that there are genetic risk factors that independently increase risk of both cannabis use and schizophrenia.

Agreed on schizophrenia. But what about anything else?

Not a psychiatrist myself, but I interact with them professionally quite a bit in a large academic medical center, and they claim that many of their depressed patients have marijuana abuse problems. Marijuana causes amotivation and inhibits proactive actions to develop healthy thought patterns, seek treatment, etc. Also apparently causes psychotropic meds not to work as well. They are very concerned about increasing prevalence and acceptability of use.

Schizophrenia is not the only mental illness out there. At least some pot users may be self medicating for depression, for example.

Best data currently suggests that marijuana use alleviates depression symptoms in the short term and worsens the overall severity of depression while making it more likely to be treatment resistant.

Just because people do something does not make it medicine. Just because it works for some people does not make it medicine. Medicine needs to have testable, repeatable, and predictable affects.

I am still waiting to see that for marijuana. Certainly things purified from C sativa have passed the medicine hurdle ... but marijuana itself still has piss poor data on it. Medical marijuana is a multi-billion dollar market worldwide, why is it so freaking hard to get any research data, compiled in any jurisdiction, that passes tests that are trivial for other medications?

But what the heck is 'lost wellbeing'? The people that get high do it to gain wellbeing.

Lost well bieng = time lost looking for the TV remote, trips to convenience store for more Cheetos, offers for sex declined because you're too baked.

You've obviously never had sex stoned.

Oh sure, once you get going.

Interesting that TC omitted the preceding sentence in that abstract, which reads:

Following the “life satisfaction approach”, we estimated the extra income that would be needed to compensate for the wellbeing loss associated with cannabis use.

In other words, cannabis users have lower reported life satisfaction than non-users, so the researchers assumed that cannabis use causes life dissatisfaction, and attempted to put a dollar value on the difference.

Conspicuously, there is no discussion of medicinal cannabis and the satisfaction gains from medical marijuana.

So what are the satisfaction gains from medical marijuana?

Just asking because the actual data has not impressed me so far. It appears that it can increase central pain sensitization, is inferior to just cannabidiol for inducing weight gain, has terrible pharmokinetics for glaucoma, and even the MS/Epilepsy data is pretty constrained.

In the main, medical marijuana, isn't. It has been unable to pass even the simplest non-inferiority trials required of actual medicines. All of its highly touted properties are either much better served by purified extract (without the many, many psychoactive compounds), or fail to even beat placebo.

I'm a medical marijuana user. I had a military injury that involved being treated with opiates heavily - I was a legal, functional opiate addict. When AZ passed its MMJ law, I asked my doctor if I could try, she (reluctantly) agreed, and I haven't had to use a prescription painkiller in over 5 years. Now, I have to PAY for my MMJ, instead of it being covered by insurance like the percs were, but I would rather pay out of pocket for mmj than be addicted to pecs again. I'm happier, healthier, and perhaps ~$2000 poorer over the course of a year. So, would I pay 2k to feel alive again? F yeah. This is a stupid study that reflects the worst in economics - the idea that money and happiness are equivalent, or that the ration of dollars to happiness is some mathematical function.

Thank you for your service.

However, I was asking for data, not anecdotes. Unfortunately, I could easily get the same response from placebos in some patients (i.e. some trials have shown no statistical difference between placebos and opiates in the majority of chronic pain patients). Your case is particularly hard because chronic opiate use often leads to central pain sensitization; anything which eliminated opiate use for you may have improved your outcomes.

At the end of the day, knowing only the roughest of diagnostic bins in which I would place you, the data I have seen suggests I likely would have gotten a better response from NSAIDs from the average patient like you.

You may not be average (and for reasons of Bayesian reasoning I would suspect not) ... I just want actual data to know who will benefit. As is, I cannot prescribe marijuana without knowing if I am actually doing more good than harm (and that is a question I ask about every prescription, even ibuprofen).

During Prohibition you could obtain alcohol legally with a doctor's prescription. When it ended, the concept of "medical alcohol" went away pretty quickly.

In a few years we won't hear much about medical marijuana either. It will have been just a stepping stone toward legal recreational use, just like civic unions were in some states prior to gay marriage.

We'll probably never know if the touted benefits are a placebo. No one will finance double-blind studies without patentability.

I don't know what the data says, because people don't seem to want to estimate it and include it in their models. But I am enough of an economist to know that a lot of people use marijuana (I don't), and that lots of people wouldn't all collectively decide to do something, and to be passionate about it, if it offered no satisfaction gains. You don't need conclusive data to know that.

You make an excellent point that you can't offer a patient a solution in good faith if you don't have some understanding of which patients will benefit and which will not. But it is important to remember that patients also make personal decisions for themselves, and having access to an option is the most important thing.

But that's my bias. I'm passionate about access to medicine.

People get high for the same reason people get drunk: to mitigate psychic pain.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you do it too much you'll get brain damage.

Also, don't do it while operating heavy or dangerous machinery or in emotionally charged situations.

This underscores what a great drug tobacco is by contrast. It sharpens focus, stabilizes mood, and suppresses appetite--equipment operators and machinists will do great with a cigarette. Unfortunately tobacco causes cancer and COPD.

Tobacco isn't the great drug, it's nicotine. Just chew the gum, no cancer risk.

I would think that long term there may be some increased negative outcomes from higher blood pressure. And it is difficult to titrate without making yourself vomit. People have studied it as an alternative to the usual stimulants used to treat ADD, and the problem was that folks who weren’t already addicted to nicotine couldn’t tolerate doses large to be effective without retching.

It's not as fun nor as powerful a dose. It's like having coitus with a condom.

But maybe that's just me

Generically, stimulants are more "effective" drugs than depressants. There is some evidence that micro-doses of LSD may help some people work more efficiently. Similarly, amphetamines and cocaine.

I do not know much about long term neurotoxicity of any of above versus, say, alcohol or tobacco. It is not obvious to me a priori it is worse at modest doses.

People also get high and drunk to relax and enhance movies/music/dancing/sex and to just have fun.

Such is life in Trump's Asshole.

That is the impersonator.

Of you or Trump’s asshole?

Of me. I think he is 50 Cent Party troll.

We gonna party like it's ya birthday....

+1. Seeking pleasure isn't necessarily the same as alleviating pain. I don't think that most people go on roller coasters rides to alleviate psychic pain.

Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;

Being sufficiently jaded that you have to hit the pleasure centers harder seems like psychic pain to me. Again, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Why expend the effort for extreme exercise, the expense of travel, the concentration of reading dense literature? Do these activities suggest a jaded individual that needs ever higher heights of stimulation to hit their pleasure centers?

Hedonic adaptation is surely a thing, but drug use (can) create novel and inherently valuable subjective states that I think non-users do not really appreciate.

I've had them. But as I've gotten older, I find I really do not need them. Also, I don't think the experience is as substantively valuable as drug users like to believe. I admit we have gotten some good songs and poems out of hallucinogens.

“I want to be mad at this paper without risking the possibility of learning my opinion is wrong.”

"Learning opinion may be wrong" is admirably scientific. But instead of worrying, ask how most of the categories the researchers identified, how they demarked items in-or-out, and how they quantified whatever their categories bespoke.
Since the "conclusions" are data-bound, based on the categories and how they are composed [e.g. fallacy of composition or division], will invariably show you the "data-bound conclusions" are not all that predictive for human behavior.
Von Mises and Hayek, as well as Menger before them understood there is no "additive property" in human well-being, or "value." Economists who believe their own statistics can often be fooled.

I agree that the direction of causality is pretty darned important.

For what it's worth, when California was in the "medical marijuana" stage, I didn't consider having a card to be a strong indicator of well-being or good character.

Trivia: Since marijuana has been legal, I still haven't bought any. This actually surprises me, but I guess the occasional beer with lunch or wine with dinner has become an established pattern. I'd guess now that legal buyers are pretty much the old card holders.

only 4000 pounds for other drugs? they must have not real cokeheads then.

To say nothing of Crystal Meth or Fentanyl!

Not the Conversable Economist Tim Taylor. Why do people get high if it is self-destructive, and so costly? I'm reminded of the first miracle by Jesus in the Gospel of John. What was He thinking?

Because moderate, reasonable, occasional cannabis use is neither self-destructive nor costly, and that's how most people use it.

And they account for (maybe) a whole 20% of the market in CO so far.

Like every other vice industry we will have the majority of people able to easily handle the issue or will be wise enough to avoid it. And we will have a small tail of the top 10% or so of users who consume the majority of industry output, wrack up massive bills in societal costs (impaired driving fatalities, medical bills, increased problems with homelessness and related pathologies).

Truth is most of the profit in these industries comes from finding people who are not able to do this and then selling to them until they are unable to function at all.

Looking at "most people" is always idiotic. Be it medications, drugs, or violence the vast majority of societal costs and externalities reside in the fat tail of the distribution.

Ignoring most people is definitely the way to go

Looking at "most people" is always idiotic.

Well, there goes evidence-based medicine. I do agree with you, though. Medical decisions should be made based on individual cases, not statistical averages. Legal decisions should be made such that they provide enough liberty that individual decisions can be made.

Medicine is about treating atypical patients. The average person requires no medical care and will, on average, recover on their own from their average malady.

For instance, we prescribe Plavix after strokes and heart attacks. For the vast majority of patients, Plavix does absolutely nothing. The NNT for death is about 300. For preventing a future stroke it is about 200 and about 70 for preventing a future heart attack. All comers is something like good things happen with Plavix in about 1 in 30 people who otherwise would not.

On the flip side we can look at NNT. Again most of medicine does nothing. Major bleeds has a NNT of 400 for Plavix and maybe around 60 general unpleasantries (e.g. diarrhea).

All evidence-based medicine focuses on the outliers - the tiny number of people who are actually helped or harmed rather than the vast bulk who are neither.

And this makes sense. Our effect sizes typically are not that huge outside of things like surgery and we get virtually all of our benefit from some statistical outlier.

For marijuana the majority of harm and benefit is going to be concentrated in a small minority of individuals. Current data seems to suggest that whatever benefits the bulk of user derive, the societal costs of the minority will easily outweigh it. Put another way, a tax sufficient to offset the externalities cannabis consumption generates in our society would likely need to rival the old black market price.

I'm with you on the science, but you lose me on the public policy recommendations. There is no need to offset cannabis use with a tax. There is no need to offset the extra syrup someone puts on her pancakes with a tax.

It's entirely fair for doctors to provide good medical recommendations against cannabis or failing to get good amounts of exercise. But turning this into an argument about "societal costs" and trying to recoup those costs via the legal system is not the right way forward, in my opinion.

Who do you think pays for me to treat schizophrenics?

We live in a society that refuses to let the mentally ill and utterly incompetent die in the street. So they do stupid things. Like get ill with pneumonia, take their antibiotics until they start "feeling better", breed some MDRO, crash on the street and get found down, require emergent intubation and protracted ICU care, and possibly spread their infection to the grandmother across the hall from them.

The bill for "uncompensated care" is tens of billions of dollars. The most expensive such care are the people who are not competent enough to manage their lives sufficiently to avoid homelessness. The vast majority have mental health issues and by far the most costly of those is schizophrenia. Suppose using marijuana has a 2.5% risk of causing a user to become schizophrenic when they otherwise would not (a very conservative estimate given current literature). Schizophrenia costs about $20,000 per annum to treat (though it is higher in schizophrenics who use drugs because they have even less ability to care for themselves when they choose to also maintain a drug habit). Lifespans are shorter for schizophrenics, so let's just say they die at 65. Say there is a nice 7 year lag before schizophrenia onsets. Okay so medical costs for marijuana use are just going to treatment from 25 to 65. So costs from schizophrenia would be $800,000 per user.

So we should require each marijuana user to pony up $20,000 into some fund so everyone else does not have to pay for their healthcare if they are the unlikely one. Except this is nowhere near the end of the story.

Schizophrenics, are vastly more likely to destroy infrastructure and cause direct harm to other people. Not just stealing things of value, but also breaking windows, disrupting charity services, and requiring criminal justice costs. And then there is the whole driving while stoned thing, marijuana destroys your reaction time yet people drive while stoned. Data from the early legalization states suggest that we will have something like 5,000 additional dead people every year thanks to stoned driving with full legalization. At least an order of magnitude more will simply wreck cars. All of these will incur bills first responders, ED staff, coroners, lawyers, and all the people involved in your typical MVC fatality are not cheap. Again these are all things that the rest of us have to pay to fix; except of course the innocent people who we can be statistically sure will die because a stoner crashes into them.

But even that may not be upper bound. After all, like most everywhere else the real costs are in the fat tail. Imagine you dense urban metropolis with good weather. The homeless congregate there. They are unable or unwilling to utilize services provided and begin to defecate and urinate in the open. They catch some disease and spread it among among a community with just enough medical care to breed resistance. It goes MDRO. Hopefully it is something simple like typhus where those of us living with good sanitation are unlikely to contract it. but suppose it isn't. Suppose it is something like M. catarrhalis. Now that likes colonizing children. A good sustained pandemic of MDRO, high lethality catarrhalis would run somewhere in the trillions of dollars of costs.

Depending on how you run the numbers, the incremental increase in the risk of emerging pandemics dwarfs everything else I've mentioned.

So again, why should the rest of us pay for the statistically inevitable effects of people ingesting a substance known to impair objectively measured judgment (e.g. Stroop gambling task)?

The truth is, when you evaluate marijuana legalization using the same cost benefit calculations we use for any other health policy, it is an abysmal loser.

So what's your plan? Suppose I am even partially correct, marijuana legalization generates significant costs in healthcare. How should society pay for them? Should we let marijuana users die without medical care? Should we tax marijuana to cover the costs we all end up paying in taxes and higher health insurance premiums? Should we tax marijuana for statistically predictable increase in MVCs and crimes? Or should we just pretend this is leaded gasoline again and just let an industry rake in massive profits while immiserating society?

I, for one, do not think we all should pay so Altria and InBev can make fistfuls of money.

I don't know why the only thing you're willing to discuss here is the cost of schizophrenia, except that maybe it's because cannabis use is bad for schizophrenia, and so it's an easy argument to make. Cannabis bad for schizos = tAx CaNnAbIs!!!

You're intelligent, so you probably already know that schizophrenics live on the streets, and people on the streets can get ahold of cannabis regardless of what happens to medical and legal approvals. So, you're really arguing a red herring here. Approving cannabis for medical use will not likely change results among schizophrenic patients, mostly because they are not great at compliance, medical or otherwise.

So, I'm not personally swayed by anything you've said here.

No I am arguing that the current data show the use of marijuana leads to there being more schizophrenics.

Increasing the supply of cannabis should be expected to lead to more schizophrenics. More schizophrenics leads to higher direct costs.

Okay, who should pay for that? How should it be paid for? If we see a 10% increase in the rates of schizophrenia and concurrent increase in the most costly schizophrenic patients, who should pay?

And of course negatives are the ONLY result of marijuana use, so this certainly considers the whole picture.

Just another example of Tyler Cowen trying to brainwash you idiots into being dullard cucks!

I have also read at a Brazilian magazine that opioid addiction is destroying America. There American cities, I read, EVERYONE died from opioid overdose or knows someone who did.

What do these so-called "costs" of cannabis consumption (practically a non-toxic substance) amount to compared with the actual costs of alcohol consumption (a highly toxic poison)?

Annual US costs of alcohol consumption surely dwarf these dubious numbers TC cites for us concerning cannabis.

Or does TC's post signal something about any contest underway among the alcohol beverage industry, the tobacco companies, and Big Pharma for developing and/or continuing production and distribution rights for cannabis products?

Stop it!

Your (novel approach) commentary is making the serious commenters look silly.

This study is a black hole of confounding factors, and the authors even acknowledge it but keep treading regardless! The paper is a waste of space and time

Seems to me a clear case of getting SOMETHING submitted before the grant deadline expired, and the funds were at risk of clawback

What is the cost of alcohol?

+1. Lot worse than cannabis, actually.

I have never quite understood this line of reasoning.

"Here drink this poison; it is only half as toxic as the poison you already drank."

I used to think we might have some harm avoidance from swapping vices, but the tax data out of CO shows pretty strongly that alcohol consumption did not decrease with marijuana legalization. If legal marijuana is harm substituting, it sure does not look like alcohol is where the action lies.

Of course Tyler would like us to give up all intoxicants and become cuckolded drones

Do note that Tyler is in the top 0.01% of food-pleasure derivers.

Colorado at the five year mark

https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2018-SB13-283_Rpt.pdf

looks like increased organized crime.
from the report -  the number of court filings charged
 with the Colorado Organized  Crime Control Act (C.R.S.18‐17.104) that were linked to some marijuana charge increased from  31 in 2012 to 119 in 2017. 

I really picked the wrong field to go into. My CV would be huge if I could just churn out crap like this.

No, it's actually good to see someone actually caring about the cost of pot legalization, instead of just cranking out yet-another "Yay Weed" piece.

Also, it makes Democrats furious, which is a nice bonus.

Surely that was what the British scientists who did the study were going for.

I'm constantly amazed at the dorkish wallflowers who comment here, many of whom are apparently still virgins (pot or otherwise) at the age of 40. Weed is fun. Just like good whiskey. Like a woman in a little black dress. Fun is not evil. Trust me. You poor dweebs.

It's the Puritan/Protestant tradition. If it's fun it must be not only bad but also sinful.

Why are there so many of these Puritans here? Maybe because Cowen is one of them.

Correlation is not causation. There could be other reasons why cannabis users are on average less satisfied than non-users. e.g: Them being on average from lower social classes, younger etc...

Also, as some of the comments on twitter mentioned, cannabis use in the UK is illegal and stigmatized somewhat, further confounding the results.

As always, we should judge papers by their methodology, not their conclusions.

Wowza! Compare that to the cost of gun legalization, alcohol legalization, car legalization, Israel First foreign policy, endstateless middle eastern/central asian wars!

4 stars....peed in my pants a little

Two shoes. Pity he missed.

What a crappy paper!

But the papers here are never really based on methodological soundness (which takes rigor and thus time to adequately evaluate) but rather on TC's strong and well-known priors, so I can't say I'm surprised.

And as is the case for newspapers and blog posts alike, most people will only read the headline and the excerpt :(

Now do Game of Thrones.

"Personality plays an important role in drug use. Arnett (2005) hypothesised that optimistic individuals are more likely to use drugs, as they tend to underestimate the harmful effect drugs can have on their life."

Damn!!!! I'm an optimist =)

Two points from the article:

1 - Life satisfaction is measured through the question “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?” Responses are reported on a 0–10 scale, where 0 indicates “Not at all” satisfied and 10 indicates “Completely” satisfied.

2 - ...it is not surprising that drug use is more widespread among younger people, especially in the case of recreational drugs taken when together with friends. ONS (2016a) data, for example, shows that in England and Wales 18% of people aged 16–24 years have used drugs at least once in the last year, against 8.4% in the broader category of 16–59 years.

From other research it's known that life satisfaction is correlated to AGE. Young adults (20-30 YO) are less satisfied than older ones (50-70). I think this difference in life satisfaction is than young people is more ambitious (has dreams) while older people more or less settles to what they could achieve.

The premise of the article is that younger people uses drugs and they're less satisfied with life, therefore drugs are bad for life satisfaction. Interesting, but it pales compared to the stronger correlation of age and life satisfaction.

Reading these comments puts me in mind of this:
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” --H.L. Mencken

Dismissing skeptics as "Puritans" is juvenile. I've smoked and drank and other activities with the partiest-heartiest of them. When having to think straight the next day is no longer a concern and I start being able to justify not buying new clothes, I intend to resume. But an intoxicated person is not manifesting happiness--they're manifesting intoxication. They may even be using a festive occasion as the justification for the intoxication, but the euphoria induced by cannabis or ethanol is not actual happiness.

THC is a powerful drug. Since we socialize the costs of drug use, it's an issue that merits serious debate. I wonder if it's been used by all the schizophrenic men I drive past on the way to work. Or is it crack or cheap vodka? Or all three? I don't know and nobody seems bothered to find out.

Having now read the abstract and the start of the paper, how anyone could call this anything more than ivory tower bull shit I have no idea.
"The current research focused on the use of cannabis and other drugs (combined). Cannabis was explored separately as it was by far the most widely used drug in the CSEW dataset. The remaining drugs were combined, despite potentially having different relationships with wellbeing, because our sample included too few individuals in each specific drug category, rendering analysis and interpretation at this level of specificity unreliable"

So we have not good sample for a correct analysis but we'll go a head and do it anyhow. It's also worth noting that the data set used was actually not focused on drug use or wellbeing. The main purpose was to assess "whether the respondent has been a victim of criminal offences and his perceptions and attitudes towards crime." They then note "the questionnaire also includes self-completion modules collecting information about..."

That doesn't suggest a well structured survey or induce much confidence in the quality of the data. Add that to their comment about "our sample included too few individuals in each specific drug category" (other than weed) ....

@RPLong -- the paper does at least mention medical use -- but I didn't bother to read much so don't know if it plays any role in the analysis.

Quick follow up -- jumped over to Science News and found https://www.sciencenews.org/article/statisticians-standard-measure-significance-p-values

Economist all love their p-values but they have been under attach for a number of years now. Looks like the guys that actually understand statistics are finally saying enough is enough:
'More than 800 statisticians and scientists are calling for an end to judging studies by statistical significance in a March 20 comment published in Nature. An accompanying March 20 special issue of the American Statistician makes the manifesto crystal clear in its introduction: “‘statistically significant’ — don’t say it and don’t use it.”'

Would 800 be enough to take this seriously?

Can we do a comparison to the costs in terms of list well being of such things as:
-Eating red meat
-smoking
-drinking alcohol
-Not exercising
-Using Twitter

Let's do a longitudinal study and see who comes out better: Pot smokers or any of the above.

Not longitudinal, but current best data ranks the order as something like: smoking, no exercise, alcohol or pot depending on what effect size you think is reasonable for the mental health issues, and finally red meat or twitter depending on your mental health weighting.

Frankly, I still do not understand this line of argumentation. "The knife I will stab you with will do far less damage than the bullet wounds you already have."

We don't live in a world where we could realistically ban alcohol anymore. So the only question is will adding a new "respectable" vice result in more harm or less. And for most things on your list, pot makes them actively worse

Do they make any effort at all to quantify the well being enhancement that comes from using marijuana, which presumably, is why people pay money for it? Sounds very dubious.

Sounds like the authors must be smoking something good to claim that never having used cannabis is equivalent to £33k-187k per year in wellbeing. If only I hadn't tried it that one time in college, my life would have turned out differently! The result looks ludicrous on its face for about half a dozen reasons off the top of my head.

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