Cloudy with a Chance of Munchies: Assessing the Impact of Recreational Marijuana Legalization on Obesity Using a Synthetic Control Approach
28 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 6, 2020
Obesity in the US arguably constitutes the most significant health epidemic over the past century. Recent legislative changes allowing for recreational marijuana use further create a need to better understand the relationship between marijuana use and health choices, leading to obesity. We examine this relationship by using a synthetic control approach to examine the impact of legalized recreational marijuana access on obesity rates by comparing Washington State to a synthetically constructed counterfactual. We find that recreational marijuana's introduction did not lead to increased obesity rates and may have led to decreases in obesity.
Keywords: marijuana legislation, decriminalization, synthetic control, obesity, public health
JEL Classification: I12, I18, H75
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation