The Cross-Border Spillover Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization
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.
The authors would like to thank Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen, Bidisha Mandal, and Robert Rosenman for helpful conversations on this paper. An earlier version of this paper is listed as an NBER working paper (no. 23426). All errors are the authors' responsibility. The corresponding author is Benjamin Cowan. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Zhuang Hao & Benjamin W. Cowan, 2020. "THE CROSS‐BORDER SPILLOVER EFFECTS OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION," Economic Inquiry, vol 58(2), pages 642-666.