Before Colorado legalized marijuana, there were many opponents making various claims of the damage it would cause, and the lives it would end, but after only a few years researchers are showing some highly unexpected statistics. The study comes from the journal, Health Economics, and it shows that states passing Medical Marijuana Laws (MML) developed a 2-6% decline in obesity. For a drug that is known for it's munchy symptoms, a decline in obesity was not on anyones mind, but after some analysis it's not improbable. Researchers are finding that marijuana's pain-relief it brings to many adults and elderly can account for increased physical activity and calorie burning. In younger tokers, it is shown to reduce the intake of alcohol, giving young people less calories and less hangovers.
This so-called substitution effect is often cited in arguments for legalizing marijuana: If you legalize weed, some people will opt for pot over alcohol. Alcohol consumption will fall as a result. And since researchers agree that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol, the net effect of such a change for individuals and society would be positive.