Washington: It’s an infamous pop culture portrayal. After smoking marijuana, the main characters in the movie go on an epic junk-food binge, consuming mass quantities of chips, cookies, and whatever other high-calorie, salt-or-sugar-laden snacks they can get.
A study released this month from a published by the Social Science Research Network, the study looked at data on monthly purchases of cookies, chips, and ice cream from grocery, convenience, drug, and mass distribution stores in more than 2,000 counties in the United States over a 10-year period. The data, largely taken from the Nielsen Retail Scanner database, covers 52 designated market areas in the 48 contiguous states.
The researchers compared purchasing trends to the implementation dates for recreational marijuana laws in states including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Their analysis showed that legalizing recreational marijuana led to a 3.1 per cent increase in ice cream purchases, a 4.1 per cent increase in cookie purchases, and a 5.3 per cent increase in chip purchases immediately after recreational marijuana sales began. While increases in ice cream and chip purchases reduced slightly in the months following legalization, the increase for cookie purchases remains high.
“These might seem like small numbers. But they’re statistically significant and economically significant as well,” said Michele
The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Additional states that have also legalized recreational marijuana were not included in the study because 18 months of purchasing data were not yet available for those states.
While “I’m not an advocate for legalization or not. I’m just interested in whether there are unintended consequences to the policy,” said