Study Finds Marijuana Legalization has Increased Colorado’s Population

A study published recently by the Institute of Labor Economics has found that marijuana legalization has had a considerable impact on Colorado’s population.

The study’s summary states that “This paper examines the amenity value of legalized marijuana by analyzing the impact of marijuana legalization on migration to Colorado. Colorado is the pioneering state in this area having legalized medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2012.” To do so, researcher “test whether potential migrants to Colorado view legalized marijuana as a positive or negative local amenity. We use the synthetic control methodology to examine in- and out-migration to/from Colorado versus migration to/from counterfactual versions of Colorado that have not legalized marijuana.”

The abstract states “We find strong evidence that potential migrants view legalized marijuana as a positive amenity with in-migration significantly higher in Colorado compared with synthetic- Colorado after the writing of the Ogden memo in 2009 that effectively allowed state laws already in place to be activated, and additionally after marijuana was legalized in 2013 for recreational use. When we employ permutation methods to assess the statistical likelihood of our results given our sample, we find that Colorado is a clear and significant outlier.”

The report found that legalization is responsible for a 3.2% increase in Colorado’s population since 2015.

In addition”We find no evidence for changes in out-migration from Colorado suggesting that marijuana legalization did not change the equilibrium for individuals already living in the state.”

More information on this study can be found here.

About Emily Watkins 158 Articles
Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for multiple websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, and can be reached at Watkins.MarijuanaHerald@gmail.com