business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

File this in the “unintended consequences” folder…

The Wall Street Journal this morning cites a new paper from the National Bureau for Economic Research pointing out that - not surprisingly - in the 33 states (and Washington, DC) where medical marijuana is legal, marijuana usage is up.

But what it also found was that “the enactment of any medical marijuana laws increases the birth rate by 0.40 or approximately 4 births per quarter for every 10,000 women of childbearing age. These results provide evidence that marijuana use has a considerable, unintended, and positive effect on fertility.”

It isn’t just fertility, though. It also is activity.

According to the paper, “In the specific case of marijuana, it is typically believed that its consumption heightens sensory perception, increases relaxation, reduces stress and diminishes anxiety. A feeling of relaxation may change attitudes toward taking sexual risks by becoming less concerned about the consequences of sexual intercourse, including reducing protection or taking on more sexual partners.”

In other words, if you are in a state where marijuana usage is on the upswing, the odds are the you may end up selling more baby food, diapers, and all the other products and accoutrements that go with having children. (Also college tuition payments. Not that I want to kill the buzz…)

That’s what I call an Eye-Opener.
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