Fargo, ND: States that license adult-use marijuana sales may experience a decrease in state-level obesity rates, according to data published in the journal Health Economics.
Researchers affiliated with North Dakota State University compared obesity rates in Washington state following legalization to those of a synthetic control state.
They reported, “Our primary experiment revealed recreational marijuana legalization, which allowed for recreational marijuana dispensaries to open, resulted in decreases in obesity rates for Washington State” as compared to their synthetic control.
Authors concluded, “As more states gravitate to decriminalization, expanded medicinal use, and legalized recreational use of marijuana, our findings provide important insights into contemporary drug policy.”
Case control studies have consistently reported that those with a history of marijuana use are less likely than abstainers to be obese or to suffer from type 2 diabetes. Studies have also previously linked cannabis use to greater rates of physical activity.
Full text of the study, “Assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on obesity,” appears in Health Economics.