Medical Marijuana States Have Lower Rates Of Workplace Death, According To New Study

When medical marijuana is legalized, workplace fatalities drop significantly, a new study says.

Five years after a state legalizes medical marijuana, workplace deaths drop by nearly 34 percent, according to the study, which is set to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in October. Researchers noted these results may be surprising to some given the "short-term effects of marijuana use on psychomotor performance and cognition" which could have potentially lead to more accidents.

While the study can't confirm exactly why legalizing medicinal cannabis correlated with such a sharp decrease in workplace fatalities, they suggest it may have something to do with the trend of people substituting other medications for cannabis. This seems to particularly the case when looking at patients dealing with chronic pain.

"Specifically, legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.8 percent reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44 if pain was included as a qualifying condition; if pain was not included as a qualifying condition, the association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities was not statistically significant."

Opponents of letting employees use medical marijuana often argue that cannabis will make them more susceptible to injury. So these findings could disprove those assumptions. And that, in turn, could inspire some MMJ states to update some of their less than patient friendly regulations.

H/T: Marijuana Moment

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