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Marijuana liberalization policies and perinatal health

In a new study in the Journal of Health Economics, Angelica Meinhofer, PhD, assistant professor of population health sciences, and colleagues sought to understand the effect of marijuana liberalization policies on perinatal health. Using a multiperiod difference-in-differences estimator that exploited variation in effective dates of medical marijuana laws (MML) and recreational marijuana laws (RML), they found that there were modest or no adverse effects of marijuana liberalization policies on the perinatal outcomes considered in the study. Specifically, the proportion of maternal hospitalizations with marijuana use disorder increased by 23 percent in the first three years after RML implementation, while there was a seven percent decline in tobacco use disorder hospitalizations. Overall, RMLs were not associated with significant changes in newborn health, and MMLs did not significantly affect maternal substance use disorder hospitalizations nor newborn health.

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