States that legalized recreational marijuana saw an increase in alcohol consumption, according to a new study.
The increase in drinking was largely driven by young adults and men, HealthDay reports. In these groups, alcohol use increased almost 4% after recreational marijuana laws were passed, the study found.
“Recreational cannabis laws have made cannabis legally accessible to nearly half of U.S. adults, but it has been unclear how this affects the use of other substances, such as alcohol,” senior author Coleman Drake, Ph.D. of the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health said in a news release. “It appears that cannabis use increases the probability that people drink, at least in the three years after legalization.”
The study included data from 4.2 million adults from federal government surveys from 2010 to 2019. During that time, 11 states legalized recreational marijuana. Respondents were asked about alcohol use, binge drinking and heavy drinking. The researchers compared answers before and after marijuana was legalized.