College of Business and Economics
We consider the impact of adoption of a low priority initiative in some jurisdictions within Los Angeles County on police behavior. Low priority initiatives instruct police to make the enforcement of low level marijuana possession offenses their ``lowest priority.'' Using detailed data from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and a difference-in differences strategy, we show that the mandate resulted in a lower arrest rate for misdemeanor marijuana possession in adopting areas. However, the lower relative arrest rate is driven by a spike in the arrest rate in areas not affected by the mandate rather than a reduction in adopting areas.
Digital Commons Citation
DeAngelo, Gregory; Gittings, Kai; Ross, Amanda; and Walker, Annie, "Police Bias in the Enforcement of Drug Crimes: Evidence from Low Priority Laws" (2016). Economics Faculty Working Papers Series. 32.