Medical Marijuana Legalization Might Make Workplaces Safer: Study

A recent study found that medical marijuana legalization was associated with a reduction in workplace fatalities.

While many marijuana opponents would argue that legalizing cannabis is only going to lead to more workplace injuries, a new study says that simply isn't the case. In fact, legalizing medical marijuana could actually make workplaces safer.

Researchers looked at data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics between 1992 and 2015. They then compared the rates of workplace fatalities before and after a state legalized medical marijuana as well as between states that have and have not yet legalized medical marijuana.

In many ways, the rate of workplace fatalities didn't change after legalization, but one demographic was greatly affected. There number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25 to 44 dropped nearly 20 percent after medical marijuana legalization. The reason why these young adult workers saw the greatest impact of medical marijuana legalization likely has to do with their increased likelihood of using cannabis instead of more dangerous substances, said the researchers.

The study authors suggested that "because the use of alcohol at work is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of injury, and because non-habitual opioid use slows reflexes and impairs cognitive functioning, the enactment of medical marijuana laws could, in theory, make workplaces safer."

The study is one of many in the growing body of research suggesting that the benefits of legalizing medical marijuana far outweigh the potential risks.

h/t: Business Insider

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