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Crime and the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

18 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2017  

Davide Dragone

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Giovanni Prarolo

University of Bologna; Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Paolo Vanin

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Giulio Zanella

University of Bologna

Abstract

We provide first-pass evidence that the legalization of the cannabis market across US states may be inducing a crime drop. Exploiting the recent staggered legalization enacted by the adjacent states of Washington (end of 2012) and Oregon (end of 2014) we find, combining county-level difference-in-differences and spatial regression discontinuity designs, that the legalization of recreational marijuana caused a significant reduction of rapes and thefts on the Washington side of the border in 2013-2014 relative to the Oregon side and relative to the pre-legalization years 2010-2012. We also find evidence that the legalization increased consumption of marijuana and reduced consumption of other drugs and both ordinary and binge alcohol.

Keywords: cannabis, recreational marijuana, crime

JEL Classification: K23, K42

Suggested Citation

Dragone, Davide and Prarolo, Giovanni and Vanin, Paolo and Zanella, Giulio, Crime and the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10522. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911460

Davide Dragone (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy
0039.051.2098880 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/davide.dragone/en

Giovanni Prarolo

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www2.dse.unibo.it/prarolo/

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Paolo Vanin

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, BO 40126
Italy
+39-0512098120 (Phone)
+39-0512098040 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/paolovanin/

Giulio Zanella

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

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