The effect of drug-free school zone laws on teen drug use

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Date

2019

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture

Abstract

One often stated goal of drug policy in the United States is keeping drugs and drug related violence away from children. Drug-free school zone laws, which impose harsher penalties on those caught on drug related offenses near schools, are perhaps the most ubiquitous policies with this specific aim in mind. While some form of drug-free zone is currently enforced in all 50 states, several have made reforms to their laws in the last 10 years. Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, I estimate the relationship between weakening drug-free school zone laws and teen drug use. I find little evidence to suggest these reforms have led to increases in teen drug use.

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