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Smoke and Fears: The Effects of Marijuana Prohibition on Crime

Scott Callahan, David Bruner and Chris Giguere

No 21-12, Working Papers from Department of Economics, Appalachian State University

Abstract: U.S. drug policy presumes prohibition reduces crime. Recently states have enacted medical marijuana laws creating a natural experiment to test this hypothesis but is impeded by severe measurement error with available data. We develop a novel imputation procedure to reduce measurement error bias and estimate significantreductionsin violent and property crime rates, with heterogeneous effects across and within states and types of crime, contradicting drug prohibitionpolicy. Wedemonstrateuncorrected measurementerrororassuminghomogeneouspolicy effects leads to underestimation of crime reduction from ending marijuana prohibition. Key Words: Prohibition, Medical Marijuana Laws, Uniform Crime Report, Multiple Imputation

JEL-codes: C81 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-ure
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