Do changes in marijuana laws make you horny? According to one study, they might. Actually, it’s important to remember that correlation isn’t causation, but that’s not to say there isn’t some connection in there somewhere. In fact, there’s long been an association with weed and sex, and not just a cultural cliche. There have been studies that have also linked enhanced female orgasm to cannabis use, never mind the increased relaxation and general uplift from smoking. Some have said there’s increased libido as well. But what’s the connection with legalized weed?

The researchers especially wanted to study the increase in birth rate, in addition to changes in sexual activity once marijuana is made legal in a state. As you might imagine, more people were having sex after legalization. Also, birth rates went up slightly. The research was titled Sex, Marijuana, and Baby Booms if that gives you an idea of what they discovered. Marijuana laws appeared to increase the birth rate by 2 percent, which may seem small but translates into over 600 more births each quarter.

The data was collected using surveys spanning 1997 to 2011. It specifically targeted young people, who are perhaps more likely to have sex but definitely more prone to having children. How much more sex were these people having? Researchers say they saw a 4.3 percent rise in the likelihood of having sex after prohibition ended in their state. That’s also not a huge rise, but it’s enough to be noticeable. Given the fact that a few more states have legalized since the end of the study (the results of which were only recently published), it’s possible that new data could shed more light on this phenomenon.

Something that researchers deduced, and wasn’t exactly reflected in the data, is that smoking pot lowers inhibitions. That presumption is a somewhat loose affiliation with inebriants in general. The theory goes, if you get high you’re less inhibited, which could lead to less worry about using contraceptives, which obviously leads to a higher likelihood of getting pregnant. That might be a stretch, given the fact that smoking marijuana isn’t the same as drinking alcohol, which researchers have studied extensively when it comes to unexpected pregnancies. Further complicating matters, there’s data to show that consuming cannabis can lead to lower fertility rates. But researchers make the point that lowered inhibitions could somehow compensate for these lowered fertility rates. In short, it’s possible that an increase in sex could override the lowered fertility. It’s a complex web of interactions that we’re only just beginning to really study in force.

Researchers will no doubt continue to study this, but so far we know that marijuana can increase libido, increase pleasure, and possibly lower inhibitions. All of that adds up to a greater likelihood of making babies, even if pot makes you less fertile. With more data from more states that have eliminated prohibition, we’re likely to know more within a few years. A marijuana baby boom? It’s possible.

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