Higher Alcohol and Cigarette Taxes Reduce Marijuana Use

Young people often use marijuana in combination with alcohol and cigarettes. Therefore, a combination of tax increases on all three counterbalances rising marijuana use among youth after legalization.

These are empirical findings of the discussion paper “More than Joints: Multi-Substance Use, Choice Limitations, and Policy Implications” by the EPoS Economic Research Center at the Universities of Bonn and Mannheim.

“We have identified a new and effective tool to control use of marijuana among youth,” says Michelle Sovinsky of the EPoS Economic Research Center. “Our results show that post-legalization consumption will rise from 25 to 37 percent among youth. The increase can be mitigated through taxing three substances: alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana.”

Taxes bring down use to pre-legalization levels
Nevada was the only jurisdiction to increase taxes on alcohol post-legalization. According to the EPoS research, youth consumption would have been close to pre-legalization levels, had Nevada also increased cigarette and marijuana taxes by 8 percent.

Full press release