Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350101
 


 



The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime


Evelina Gavrilova


University of Turin - Department of Economics S. Cognetti de Martiis

Floris T Zoutman


Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Business and Management Science

November 5, 2013


Abstract:     
In this paper we analyze the effect of medical marijuana laws on crimes in the US. Using the National Incident Based Reporting System, we exploit daily quasi-experimental variation in state legislation to establish the effect of drug liberalization on crime reports and arrests. As expected, we find that drug crimes decrease. Contrary to expectations, the introduction of such laws in a given state or neighboring state decreases the count of assault and property crimes and has no effect on sexual crimes. This is consistent with price drops and lower risk, associated with the acquiring of drugs. When we explore the effect of seizures of cocaine, we find that quantities decrease, hinting that these drugs are rather complements than substitutes for dealers. We perform several robustness checks and further explore the effect through synthetic control methods.

Keywords: Cannabis Legalization, Decriminalisation, Crime

JEL Classification: K42, K00, H00

working papers series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: November 6, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Gavrilova, Evelina and Zoutman, Floris T, The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime (November 5, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350101

Contact Information

Evelina Gavrilova (Contact Author)
University of Turin - Department of Economics S. Cognetti de Martiis ( email )
Via Po' 53
Torino, 10124
Italy
Floris T Zoutman
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Business and Management Science ( email )
Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway
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