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Where Medical Marijuana is Legal, Alcohol Sales are Lower

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University have found that places with legal medical marijuana have seen a 15 percent reduction in monthly alcohol sales. The researchers used retail store scanner data to track alcohol sales, comparing sales in counties in states with legal medical marijuana to those in states where it’s not legal before and after legalization.


“We find that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces alcohol consumption,” the researchers write. “We find consistent evidence across different specifications and alcohol products (i.e. alcohol in general, beer and wine). States legalizing medical marijuana use experience significant decrease in the aggregate sales of alcohol, beer and wine. Moreover, the effects are not short lived, with significant reductions observed up to 24 months after the passage of the law.”

The paper can be downloaded here

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