Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Gregory DeAngelo

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas J. Kniesner

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Pierangelo De Pace

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Fawaz AlotaibI


Marijuana legalizations, Recreational marijuana laws, Marijuana, Harder Drug Use and Crime, Two-way fixed effects, Medical marijuana laws

Subject Categories



In the first chapter of this dissertation, we investigate the effect of Recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) on Harder Drug Use and Crime. RMLs, which legalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana for recreational use, have been adopted by 18 states and the District of Columbia. Opponents argue that RML-induced increases in marijuana consumption will serve as a “gateway” to harder drug use and crime. Using data covering the period 2000-2019 from a variety of national sources (the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, the Uniform Crime Reports, the National Vital Statistics System, and the Treatment Episode Data Set) this study is the first to comprehensively examine the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana on hard drug use, arrests, drug overdose deaths, suicides, and treatment admissions. Our analyses show that RMLs increase adult marijuana use and reduce drug-related arrests over an average post-legalization window of three to four years. There is little evidence to suggest that RML-induced increases in marijuana consumption encourage the use of harder substances or violent criminal activity. In the second chapter, I examine the effect of recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) on creating job opportunities using the number of employees in different industries data for all of the United States. The data obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis for the year 2002 to 2019. In this analysis, I include the differential-timing difference-in-differences estimator proposed by Callaway and Sant’Anna (2021) beside difference-in-differences (DD) with two-way fixed effects (TWFE). The results suggest that there is no evidence that RMLs increase the number of employees for construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, and transportation using TWFE. In addition, differential-timing difference-in-differences results suggest that there is no significant effect of RMLs on the number of employees in all sectors. Finally, we re-visits the effect of medical marijuana laws on traffic fatalities by replicating “Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption” (Anderson et al., 2013) using a more appropriate estimator given the differential rollout of the treatment (Callaway and Sant’ Anna, 2021). Between 1990 to 2010, medical marijuana laws (MML) were adopted by 14 states as well as the District of Columbia. Using traffic fatalities data from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) at the state level from 1990 to 2010, we replicate Anderson et al. (2013). The original work found that after the states implemented the MML, there was a reduction in traffic fatalities. However, we find a heterogeneous treatment effect by employing the differential-timing difference-in-differences (DTDD) estimator. Most of the negative results are derived from western States (early adopters), while the reverse effect is observed in eastern states.