Impact Of Marijuana Legalization On Crime Reduction Is Being Underestimated, New Study Finds

MJ moment

Studies have repeatedly identified an association between the legalizing marijuana and reductions in crime—but the impact of the policy change is being significantly understated because of limitations in the research methodology, a new paper co-authored by a federal official asserts. Most studies looking at crime and cannabis rely on FBI data sourced from local police departments across the country. But reporting that data to the federal agency is entirely voluntary, leaving knowledge gaps that have underplayed the extent to which legalizing medical cannabis reduces violent and property crime. That’s according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service and Appalachian State University, who published a working paper with their findings this month. “U.S. drug policy presumes prohibition reduces crime. Recently states have enacted medical marijuana laws creating a natural experiment to test this hypothesis but is impeded by severe measurement error with available data,” the abstract states. To account for those shortcomings, the researchers developed “a novel imputation procedure to reduce measurement error bias and estimate significant reductions in violent and property crime rates, with heterogeneous effects across and within states and types of crime, contradicting drug prohibition policy.” “We demonstrate uncorrected measurement error or assuming homogeneous policy effects leads to underestimation of crime reduction from ending marijuana prohibition,” the authors said in the paper, which is titled, “Smoke and Fears: The Effects of Marijuana Prohibition on Crime.” To improve upon existing research, the study authors said they used a “multiple imputation procedure for agency-level crime data to fill in the gaps in the [Uniform Crime Reporting] data that accounts for the inherent uncertainty in these imputed values in the subsequent statistical analysis.” “Our results indicate that [medical marijuana laws] result in significant reductions in both violent and property crime rates, with larger effects in Mexican…

Excerpt only …
READ MORE BELOW
Source : Impact Of Marijuana Legalization On Crime Reduction Is Being Underestimated, New Study Finds

reposted by Cannabis News World

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.