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Joint culpability: The effects of medical marijuana laws on crime

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2020 by Yu-Wei Chu, W Townsend
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Most U.S. states have passed medical marijuana laws. In this paper, we study the effects of these laws on violent and property crime. We first estimate models that control for city fixed effects and flexible city-specific time trends. To supplement this regression analysis, we use the synthetic control method which can relax the parallel trend assumption and better account for heterogeneous policy effects. Both the regression analysis and the synthetic control method suggest no causal effects of medical marijuana laws on violent or property crime at the national level. We also find no strong effects within individual states, except for in California where the medical marijuana law reduced both violent and property crime by 20%.

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Preferred citation

Chu, Y.W. L. & Townsend, W. (2019). Joint culpability: The effects of medical marijuana laws on crime. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 159, 502-525. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.07.003

Journal title

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

Volume

159

Publication date

01/03/2019

Pagination

502-525

Publisher

Elsevier BV

Publication status

Published

ISSN

0167-2681

eISSN

1879-1751

Language

en

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