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Crime and the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Davide Dragone (), Giovanni Prarolo (), Paolo Vanin () and Giulio Zanella ()

No 10522, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K23 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 18 pages
Date: 2017-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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Journal Article: Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana (2019) Downloads
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