Does Medical Marijuana Legalization Impact Police Officer Safety?

Raised of $1,000 Goal
Ended on 9/15/14
Campaign Ended
  • $150
  • 15%
  • Finished
    on 9/15/14

About This Project

Recently, my team and I published a study in the journal PLoS One on the effect of medical marijuana legalization on state crime rates. We found no evidence of increases in crime following legalization. Whether these laws impact police safety remains unknown as official crime rates do not necessarily capture officer injuries (which may be secondary to the crime). The findings will add evidence to the debate on legalization for medical purposes.

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What is the context of this research?

A recent study found no link between medical marijuana legalization and state crime rates from 1990 through 2006 (see above link). Exploring the law's impact on police officer injury will provide considerable information as to any harmful social impacts from legalization for medical purposes.

What is the significance of this project?

No study of this specific topic has ever been published. The findings will help policy makers, and the public at large, become more informed as to the true effect/s from legalization of medical marijuana so that debates can be central to the facts of the matter, rather than conjecture. Some argue that legalization of marijuana for medical purposes may be dangerous for law enforcement officers; this study will determine whether that is the case or not.

What are the goals of the project?

  • Collect the required data to carry out the study, extending the analysis through 2012.
  • Develop a statistical analysis to test for the effect.
  • Publish the work in an open-access peer-reviewed scientific journal.


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  • Funding would cover the fee for open-access publication so the paper can be free to anyone.

Meet the Team

Robert Morris, PhD
Robert Morris, PhD
Stephen A. Bishopp, PhD
Stephen A. Bishopp, PhD

Team Bio

Robert G. Morris PhD studies the effects from policies, from inception (e.g., pretrial release) through reentry on a variety of outcomes. He is Assoc. Prof. and Director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies at UT Dallas, sits on the Dallas Co. Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Research. More here.

Honors & Awards
11' Univ. of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award

12' Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences-ACJS
W. Simon/Anderson Publishing Outstanding Paper Award


Stephen A. Bishopp PhD
studies police behavior, TASER use policy, police suicide, alcohol abuse, & divorce. He is Assoc. Dir. for Research at The Caruth Police Institute (CPI) at the Dallas Police Dept. in Texas, and a member of CJAB. Steve continues to work for the Dallas Police Dept. as a (24-year veteran) currently assigned to CPI.

Honors & Awards
Graduated with Distinction-UT Dallas, MS, Program in Criminology, 2009.

Police Officer of the Year, First Runner-up, DPD, 1996.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Press and Media

The previous study (on crime rates) received a fair amount of media attention (CLICK BELOW IMAGES FOR ARTICLES)

Project Backers

  • 4Backers
  • 15%Funded
  • $150Total Donations
  • $37.50Average Donation
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