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Drawing on data from U.S. death certificates from 2009 to 2019, we conducted a difference-in-differences analysis to estimate the impact of recreational markets on fatalities from motor vehicle accidents, suicide, and opioid overdose in seven states.
Based on estimates from all seven states, recreational markets were associated with a 10% increase in motor vehicle accident deaths, on average. This study found no evidence that recreational markets impacted suicides. On average, recreational markets were associated with an 11% reduction in opioid overdose fatalities.
States with comprehensive medical cannabis programs with similar pre-trends in deaths were used as comparisons. For each outcome, a pooled estimate was generated with a meta-analysis using random effects models.