Cloudy with a chance of munchies: Assessing the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on obesity

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.