Domestic Violence and Marijuana: Evidence from Retail Marijuana Law
45 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 27, 2019
We conduct a difference-in-differences analysis to study the potential effect of marijuana use on domestic violence by exploiting municipal and temporal variations in the enactment of retail marijuana law (RML) in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA from 2011 to 2016. The RML enactment in 2014 leads to a substantial increase in domestic violence rate. The placebo test shows that the effect is only significant for offenders aged above 21, the legal age to purchase recreational marijuana. The RML effect on domestic violence exists across gender and race and concentrate on categories of simple assault, intimidation, minor injury, and no injury. We also find that RML reduces crimes that are more likely to be gang-related such as aggravated assault and robbery. Our findings are not merely driven by the co-use of alcohol and marijuana and robust to an extended sample that includes all core cities in Colorado.
Keywords: Domestic violence; Cannabis; Recreational marijuana legalization; Marijuana use; Retail marijuana law
JEL Classification: K23, K42, I18, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation