Marijuana and Crime: Is there a Connection Beyond Prohibition?
NBER Working Paper No. 10046
Issued in October 2003
NBER Program(s): CH HE
We examine the relationship between marijuana use and non-drug related crime using data on arrests from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program and Uniform Crime Reports. There is a positive association between self-reported use at the time of the offence and non-drug related violent, property and income-producing crime even after accounting for other substance use in the ADAM data. Reduced form equations using both data sets only provide evidence supporting a causal mechanism for property and income-producing crime. In the case of violent crime, we find a statistically significant association with arrests but not reported crime, suggesting that marijuana use may just influence the likelihood of getting caught committing these crimes.
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