IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/13814.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Defeating Crime? An Economic Analysis of Cannabis Legalization Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Auriol, Emmanuelle
  • Mesnard, Alice
  • Perrault, Tiffanie

Abstract

Can legalization of cannabis eliminate related organized crime? We model consumer choices for cannabis in a risky environment and determine the provision of cannabis, under prohibition and legalization. Although a legalization policy may crumble the profits from illegal providers driving them out of business, it also increases cannabis use. In contrast, repression decreases cannabis consumption but strengthens the cartelization of criminal networks. Combining legalization with repression can strangle the black market while controlling the demand for cannabis. Based on evidence from the US, policy simulations are used to compute the price of legal cannabis that would achieve this dual objective and highlight the complementarities between repression and legalization. For example, with a 1% probability of arrest and a USD 2000 fine for illegal purchase, a legal price around USD 439 per ounce would evict illegal suppliers and increase the consumption by less that 25%. If the probability of arrest reaches 2%, the eviction price can go up to USD 622 and overall consumption increases by no more than 5:5%.

Suggested Citation

  • Auriol, Emmanuelle & Mesnard, Alice & Perrault, Tiffanie, 2019. "Defeating Crime? An Economic Analysis of Cannabis Legalization Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 13814, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13814
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13814
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pacula Rosalie Liccardo & Kilmer Beau & Grossman Michael & Chaloupka Frank J, 2010. "Risks and Prices: The Role of User Sanctions in Marijuana Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, February.
    2. repec:eee:juecon:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:120-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Manolis Galenianos & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Nicola Persico, 2012. "A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1239-1269.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Liana Jacobi & Michelle Sovinsky, 2016. "Marijuana on Main Street? Estimating Demand in Markets with Limited Access," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2009-2045, August.
    6. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    7. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-742, August.
    8. Manolis Galenianos & Alessandro Gavazza, 2017. "A Structural Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(3), pages 858-896, March.
    9. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    10. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
    11. J. Williams & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Frank J. Chaloupka & Henry Wechsler, 2004. "Alcohol and marijuana use among college students: economic complements or substitutes?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 825-843.
    12. Ali Palali & Jan C. Ours, 2015. "Distance to Cannabis Shops and Age of Onset of Cannabis Use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(11), pages 1483-1501, November.
    13. repec:bla:ajecsc:v:53:y:1994:i:4:p:475-490 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    15. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    16. Dragone, Davide & Prarolo, Giovanni & Vanin, Paolo & Zanella, Giulio, 2019. "Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 488-501.
    17. Nicholas Barberis & Abhiroop Mukherjee & Baolian Wang, 2016. "Prospect Theory and Stock Returns: An Empirical Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(11), pages 3068-3107.
    18. J. Williams, 2004. "The effects of price and policy on marijuana use: what can be learned from the Australian experience?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 123-137.
    19. Anne Line Brettevilleā€Jensen & Liana Jacobi, 2011. "Climbing the drug staircase: a Bayesian analysis of the initiation of hard drug use," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1157-1186, November.
    20. Jonathan P. Caulkins, 1993. "Zero-Tolerance Policies: Do They Inhibit or Stimulate Illicit Drug Consumption?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(4), pages 458-476, April.
    21. Andrew Resignato, 2000. "Violent crime: a function of drug use or drug enforcement?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 681-688.
    22. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    23. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    24. Poret, Sylvaine, 2002. "Paradoxical effects of law enforcement policies: the case of the illicit drug market," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 465-493, December.
    25. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
    26. Jeffrey A. Miron, 2003. "The Effect of Drug Prohibition on Drug Prices: Evidence from the Markets for Cocaine and Heroin," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 522-530, August.
    27. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Michael Grossman, 2006. "The Market for Illegal Goods: The Case of Drugs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 38-60, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cannabis; crime; legalization; policy; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13814. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.