This originally appeared at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35691014/
PMID: 35691014 DOI: 10.1002/hec.4553
While many states have legalized medical cannabis, many unintended consequences remain under-studied. We focus on one potential detriment-the effect of cannabis legalization on automobile safety. We examine this relationship through auto insurance premiums. Employing a modern difference-in-differences framework and zip code-level premium data from 2014 to 2019, we find that premiums declined, on average, by $22 per year following medical cannabis legalization. The effect is more substantial in areas near a dispensary and in areas with a higher prevalence of drunk driving before legalization. We estimate that existing legalization has reduced health expenditures related to auto accidents by almost $820 million per year with the potential for a further $350 million reduction if legalized nationally.