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The Cross-Border Spillover Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization

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  • Zhuang Hao
  • Benjamin Cowan

Abstract

We examine the spillover effects of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) in Colorado and Washington on neighboring states. We find that RML causes a sharp increase in marijuana possession arrests in border counties of neighboring states relative to non-border counties in these states. RML has no impact on juvenile marijuana possession arrests but is rather fully concentrated among adults. Using separate data on self-reported marijuana use, we show this is accompanied by an increase in use in neighboring states relative to non-neighboring states. We do not find conclusive evidence that marijuana sale/manufacture arrests, DUI arrests, or opium/cocaine possession arrests in border states are affected by RML.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhuang Hao & Benjamin Cowan, 2017. "The Cross-Border Spillover Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization," NBER Working Papers 23426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23426
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. Mark Anderson & Daniel I. Rees, 2014. "The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: How Likely Is the Worst‐Case Scenario?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(1), pages 221-232, January.
    2. Yu-Wei Luke Chu, 2015. "Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Hard-Drug Use?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 481-517.
    3. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
    4. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2015. "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 495-528.
    5. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2014. "The effects of medical marijuana laws on illegal marijuana use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 43-61.
    6. Eduardo Cavallo & Sebastian Galiani & Ilan Noy & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1549-1561, December.
    7. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 333-369.
    8. repec:oup:alecon:v:17:y:2015:i:2:p:495-528. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Hansen & Keaton Miller & Caroline Weber, 2017. "The Grass is Greener on the Other Side: How Extensive is the Interstate Trafficking of Recreational Marijuana?," NBER Working Papers 23762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jörg Kalbfuß & Reto Odermatt & Alois Stutzer, 2018. "Medical Marijuana Laws and Mental Health in the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1546, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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