Binge Drinking Rates Drop in States with Legalized Marijuana

While Americans are binge drinking at the highest rates ever seen, a new study finds that states with legalized marijuana see less of this dangerous behavior.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last month published a study about binge drinking in the United States. The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in a span of two hours for men, and four or more for women. They found that 37 million Americans, about one in six, engage in this behavior at least once per week, which is the highest rate in history.

However a new report by investment analysts at Cowen found that states with legalized marijuana have lower binge drinking rates than the rest of the country. Specifically, they found that states with legalized cannabis in 2016 had nine percent less binge drinking sessions per month than the national average. 

Now, there are a couple of reasons for this phenomenon. One is that people only have a set amount of money to use on recreational activities, so in states with legalized marijuana, people who buy cannabis are simply going to have less money to spend on alcohol. But there's also a health argument that people are more willing to use marijuana to unwind because it has less damaging effects on a person's health than alcohol.

This is probably bad news for any bars in the Boston area, considering Massachusetts is going to legalize cannabis in only a few short months.

(h/t Forbes)

Latest.

The fight to legalize cannabis nationwide should begin by helping veterans get access to medical marijuana, according to Massachusetts Representative - and 2020 presidential candidate - Seth Moulton (D). Right now, vets can't use medical marijuana without the risk of losing their Veteran's Affairs benefits, even if they live in a state that has legalized medicinal cannabis. In fact, so much as mentioning cannabis use to their doctor is enough for a vet to get their benefits stripped.

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