The repeal of Montana's medical marijuana act and traffic fatalities

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


Over the last several years, marijuana legalization has become a popular piece of state legislation. While most legislation is focused on the passage of these laws for marijuana use, Montana, in 2011, rescinded a previously passed medical marijuana law with Senate Bill 423. This thesis examines the relationship between rescinding a medical marijuana law and traffic fatalities, one of the leading causes of death in America, in Montana after Senate Bill 423 was passed. I test for a causal effect using a synthetic control approach along with a weighted regression using data from the Fatal Analysis and Reporting System with data from 2001-2017. I find that the synthetic control groups saw similar patterns in traffic fatalities despite not rescinding a medical marijuana law. The weighted regression analysis also shows that there is no statistical difference in traffic fatalities after the policy in Montana.




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