Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350101
 


 



Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime


Evelina Gavrilova


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

Takuma Kamada


Tohoku University - Department of Behavioral Science

Floris T. Zoutman


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

August 1, 2014


Abstract:     
We examine the effect of medical marijuana laws (MML) on crime treating the introduction of MML as a quasi-experiment and using three different data sources. First, using data from the Uniform Crime Reports, we find that violent crimes such as homicides and robberies decrease in states that border Mexico after MML are introduced. Second, using Supplementary Homicide Reports' data we show that for homicides the decrease is the result of a drop in drug-law, felony and juvenile-gang related homicides, while other homicides remain unaffected. Lastly, using STRIDE data, we show that the introduction of MML in Mexican border states decreases the amount of cocaine seized, while it increases the price of cocaine. Our results survive a large variety of robustness checks. We interpret our results as evidence that decriminalization of small-scale production and distribution of marijuana cripples Mexican drug trafficking organizations, whose revenues are highly reliant on marijuana. The introduction of MML in Mexican border states lead to a decrease in their activity, which resulted in a drop in drug-related violent crime and drug trafficking. Extrapolating, our results indicate that decriminalization of the production and distribution of drugs may lead to a drop in violence in markets where organized crime is pushed out by licit competition.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Cannabis Legalization, Decriminalisation, Crime

JEL Classification: K42, K00, H00

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Date posted: November 6, 2013 ; Last revised: December 16, 2014

Suggested Citation

Gavrilova, Evelina and Kamada, Takuma and Zoutman, Floris T., Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime (August 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2350101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2350101

Contact Information

Evelina Gavrilova (Contact Author)
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Business and Manadement Science ( email )
Helleveien 30
Bergen, 5045
Norway
4741152047 (Phone)
Takuma Kamada
Tohoku University - Department of Behavioral Science ( email )
Japan
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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