Saturday, August 5, 2017

Marijuana access lets Dutch students grades go to pot

Economic research often extends beyond prices and output.  One recent study looks at what happens in a Dutch university town when a law is passed proscribing marijuana access to students who are not residents of the Netherlands.  As reported in WP, the academic performance of the non-Dutch students improved; their odds of passing a course increased by at least 5 percent.  The performance increase was greatest among students who were performing at a lower level.

Marijuana legalization is based on a wide range of value judgments, of which academic performance is but one dimension.  A key implication of this study is that there is likely to be some adverse impact on learning if marijuana becomes more accessible.  Of course, pot advocates might naturally ask if this experiment were repeated except this time telling the Belgian and French students that they cannot buy Heineken!