The relationship between marijuana initiation and dropping out of high school
Article first published online: 31 JAN 2000
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 9–18, January 2000
How to Cite
Bray, J. W., Zarkin, G. A., Ringwalt, C. and Qi, J. (2000), The relationship between marijuana initiation and dropping out of high school. Health Econ., 9: 9–18. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1050(200001)9:1<9::AID-HEC471>3.0.CO;2-Z
- Issue published online: 31 JAN 2000
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2000
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JUL 1999
- Manuscript Received: 20 OCT 1998
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Grant Number: R01 DA07972
- high school dropout;
The prevalence of marijuana use among young people has risen rapidly in recent years, causing concern over the potential impact on academic performance of such use. While recent studies have examined the effect of alcohol use on educational attainment, they have largely ignored the potential negative effects of other substances, such as marijuana. This paper examines whether the relationship between the initiation of marijuana use and the decision to drop out of high school varies with the age of dropout or with multiple substance use. Data are from a longitudinal survey of 1392 adolescents aged 16–18 years. The results suggest that marijuana initiation is positively related to dropping out of high school. Although the magnitude and significance of this relationship varies with age of dropout and with other substances used, it is concluded that the effect of marijuana initiation on the probability of subsequent high school dropout is relatively stable, with marijuana users’ odds of dropping out being about 2.3 times that of non-users. Implications of these conclusions are considered for both policy makers and researchers. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.