Economic Implications of Decriminalization
1 online resource (55 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Contrary to federal government policy in the United States toward illegal drug use, ten states enacted legislation to decriminalize marijuana during the 1970’s. The War on Drugs campaign of the 1980’s-1990’s halted state marijuana reform policy until the 21st century. The War on Drugs reportedly cost the federal government approximately $19 billion every year and has been accused of racial targeting and the disproportionate incarceration of poor and minority population (Jakubiec, Kilcer, and Sager, 2009). Decriminalizing minor drug infractions may offer new perspectives on policing communities and afford the criminal justice system the ability to redirect scarce resources to other activities. Beyond drug use policies, decriminalizing marijuana may offer other benefits including the ability to initiate industrial hemp farming, and encourage commercial production of hemp which can be used in more than 25,000 products (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016). Previous studies on the impacts of decriminalization are commonly derived from a theoretical perspective; a few economic studies focus on the effects of supply and demand. This paper reflects a broader focus, using empirical analysis to review the economic effects on states that enact decriminalization. The method allows control of unobservable variables, such as policy changes and the ability to compare state impacts over time. This paper seeks to examine the claims that decriminalization will reduce social cost and expenditures in law enforcement.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMDECRIMINALIZATION
McGregor, RobMetzgar, Matthew
Thesis (M.S.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2016.
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