Friday, June 21, 2024

New Study Finds Marijuana Legalization Is Hurting Alcohol Industry

A new study suggests that alcohol sales go down when marijuana legalization is enacted.

Three researchers set out to find the numbers using a scanning method to record alcohol sales both pre- and post-legalization. The authors wrote of their findings:

“We find that marijuana and alcohol are strong substitutes. Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent, which is a consistent finding across several empirical specifications. When disaggregating by beer and wine we find that legalization of medical marijuana had a negative effect on corresponding sales by as much as 13.8 and 16.2 percent, respectively.”

It’s no wonder that the alcohol industry has paid so much into anti-marijuana campaigns.

There’s a lot to be thankful for in this study, for one, it shows that cannabis is a substitute to alcohol, not a complement to it. This makes for safer roads and safer people. While alcohol users tend to get drunk and rowdy, oft times reckless or even aggressive, cannabis imbibers really want to chill, talk a bit deeply, maybe watch something funny and eat the free bar nuts.

According to Mother Jones, there are still some caveats in the study’s findings. It’s based on scanner data, while not all alcohol is sold in stores. Also, there were a wide range of controls, like, “county economic conditions such as unemployment rate and median household income…total population, percentage of male and Hispanic population, and the share of population by age groups.”

All in all, the results are a good thing. Cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol on many levels, from physical to mental to the safety of others. Alcohol kills one’s liver, can be quite addictive and can be very dangerous when there are cars or fists involved. On the other hand, marijuana helps build new neural connections, heals the body, is not difficult to quit and, though one should never drive stoned, fists are not likely to be raised. If they are, giggles may ensue.

Alcohol and cannabis may both be great ways to unwind after a long day, but it’s clear that cannabis is the safer alternative. And according to this study, if you live in a legal state, you may already have dusty shot glasses in your cupboard.


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